January 2020 gave no indication just how rough a ride it was going to get for everyone on this planet. We had fairly-run-of-the-mill problems and successes the first couple of months. Little did we innocents suspect what was just around the corner — come March. But now it’s nine months later and we are a whole bunch wiser. 

“Get a deep seat and a tight hold” is a rodeo phrase that even the most confirmed city-bred now understand. We really don’t have an idea what this wild horse called ‘Life” may be trying next. Not only is this bucking bronco not running out of steam, it seems to be getting its second wind. Already thrown us out of the saddle and flat on our derriere several times with COVID-19. Twisted us in a tight spiral with a traumatic Presidential election. And now we face winter. Wintertime has always had the ability to toss our country into the air and then kick us in the gut when we land on the ground.

Reminds me of the story a young man named Terry told a few years ago. Seems he grew up around horses on the farm, so he developed a love for the strong animals. One day when he was a young boy, his dad came home with a beautiful black horse named Joe and told the boy that it was his, “When you break him to ride.”

“No problem. I am almost eleven years old and nearly grown,” he thought confidently. 

Terry spent time making friends with Joe. Good-natured and calm, the horse was a sweetheart. Finally, the big day arrived and his dad helped an excited boy saddle up. Joe remained cool as a cucumber through that process. He stood quietly patient as dad helped Terry swing into the saddle for the very first time. Dad helped him adjust the reins in his small hands, and then advised, “Better get a deep seat and a tight hold, ‘cause it’s likely to get a little bit rough.”

‘Yeah sure, no problem,’ blind optimism said, ‘I got this.’

Joe and Terry started out as a team. Then came the disagreement. Joe decided to head to the barn, but Terry thought differently.

Rough began immediately.

Terry recounts he pulled his face out of the dust and crawled back on that horse countless times. They finally came to a working arrangement. Horse let boy believe he was in charge, as long as boy was understanding of what horse wanted.

Scripture tells us to not brag about tomorrow, because we don’t know what tomorrow may bring. 2020 has been a living testimony to that. “Better get a deep seat and a tight hold, ‘cause things can likely get a little rough.” In other words, enjoy right now, but prepare yourself for tomorrow’s worst the best you can. Though all may be well today, changes come in a heartbeat. It’s called LIFE.

 

Send responses to andybowman839@gmail.com or visit Coffeetimecolumn.com.

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