They say hindsight is a pretty good view. No kidding. I think we can all look back and pick out a dozen or more things we might do differently if we ever got the chance. The problem is we don’t ever have that chance, so many of us live with regret, or at least disappointment. As for myself, I look back to the night I climbed on Cody Butte in Vancouver, Washington. Had I just stayed home, like my pocketbook told me I should have, I wouldn’t have broken my neck. That could have changed a whole series of events. Oh well. It happened, and that’s that.
I know guys who let stuff like that roll off like water off of a duck’s back. I remember one time watching my buddy Travis Lockie throw a heel loop in the dirt. I would have been outside calling myself every name in the book. He rode back with a smile on his face. I expressed my surprise, and he looked at me and said, “Sometimes you’re the windshield. Sometimes, you’re the bug.” True dat.
I guess when it comes down to it, the healthy thing to do is realize we can’t change the past. We can’t go back and change even the simplest events, decisions, or mistakes. It’s in the books. However, we probably ought to make an effort to at least learn from the past. If I go out and miss a steer, it doesn’t hurt to at least give a nod to how I can fix the mistake next time.
That being said, learning and dwelling are two very different things. I don’t ride bucking horses anymore—primarily because I can’t go back and change things. I have since swallowed my pride and started roping things. If there’s one lesson I have taken from the days of climbing on the wasps, it’s that if you’re thinking about your run when you ride into the box, you may be a bit late. Thinking and competing don’t really go hand in hand. Thinking and practicing do, but not thinking and competing. And that’s the one thing I’ve applied to roping stuff.
When it comes to life, we need to practice with purpose. What I mean is that we need to do things that set us up for success on a regular basis. Then, when the pressure’s on, all we have to do is pull the trigger. If it’s roping, we practice on the dummy until everything’s perfect. Then we practice horseback until everything’s perfect. Then we go to the rodeo and have fun. If the homework ain’t done by then, it’s too late, anyway. Just have fun.
If it’s schoolwork, we need to study way before the eve of a test. If it’s building houses, we’d better have a consistent flow of work, so we’re always on our game. How’d you like to have a brain surgeon who only does one surgery per year? He’d have to have his manual or a Youtube video handy in the operating room. Probably not the most ideal situation, by any means. Ideal would be a surgeon who does two or three per week. He’s confident. He knows his stuff. And if he throws one in the dirt, he can confidently say, “Sometimes you’re the windshield. Sometimes you’re the bug.” I’d just hate to be that guy.
It’s the same with our walk with God. We can’t just go to church once or twice a week and think we’re even close to ready for battle. The battle begins, and we’re sitting there trying to find that verse about, you know, the one about…and the world comes crashing down. We can’t even just read the Bible and pray daily and think we’re ready. We have to follow Jesus with every ounce of our being. Like Jesus says, “…with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind, and with all of your strength.”
Then, we’re ready. Then the walls can come crashing down, and we stand on faith in the Jesus we really know, not just know about. We roll with the punches and come out with a smile. Practice makes perfect.
I’ve watched guys tie calves who practiced day in and day out. I’ve watched guys tie calves who practiced once in a while. I don’t have to tell you the former guys’ names. They’re the best. And they can handle any situation thrown at them.
Proverbs 12:27 tells us, “Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.” That’s not just hard work. That’s consistent, hard work. If luck is when preparation meets opportunity, true followers of Jesus are the luckiest people in the world.
Broken Horn Ranch Ministries has a mission of bringing Jesus to the Western World through western events and regular fellowship, introducing people to a real God who cares about their real lives.