let me tell you, those are some HUGE bulls!
it was just really cool, seeing the cowboys with their hats on, leaning over the bull cage,
helping the rider get seated on that wild thing.
clearly, everybody has a job to do......
a very important job, since this is
ONE TOUGH SPORT.
and it is definitely a sport and these are very talented athletes.
the night started with music blaring and fireworks,
as well as the letters PBR (professional Bullriders)
set on fire on the floor.
you had to see it.
the arena is dark, the giant letters are burning and the announcer starts
to introduce the bull riders.
when their name is called, they walk through the flames to line up in a semi circle.
but the MOST spectacular thing was when the announcer asked
the audience to stand for the invocation.
at a public sporting event in America.
and what a prayer it was.
basically, this is what it said.......
they prayed for safety for them and their families.
prayed for our soldiers, our country, the President, the Colorado shooting victims.
they thanked God for his many blessings.
they prayed for forgiveness of sins and yes, much more.
it was something else!
i noticed the cowboys, some holding their hats on their chests,
some kneeling, some on all fours.
clearly, they took this very seriously, as we all should.
and the audience was very reverent.
also quite surprising for a big arena full of excited people.
this had me so stunned and moved,
that i went home and looked up the rodeo, bull riding, and cowboys praying.
now i'm even MORE impressed!
these men know that what they do is very dangerous.
in interviews, they refer to the power of prayer.
they know that guts and bravery are never going to be enough.
these men rely on their faith every time they get on the back of one of those bulls.
in a world of "political correctness".........
they pray over the bull rider as he sits atop the bull, they pray in the locker room
before they come out, and they pray in front of the crowd every night.
and that's not all.
their faith is so important, that there are now
"Cowboy Churches" all over the country.
wherever there is a bull riding contest, there is cowboy church.
whether they meet in the bleachers, in a barn or in a little country church,
they gather to worship and pray.
filled with country/gospel songs and a simple message to take them through the night and into the next day.
lessons to use, lessons to live.
and plenty of prayer.
we had a pretty remarkable night.
moving.....that's what it was. very moving.
so good to see prayer like that at a sporting event.
i'm not suggesting that these men are perfect.
they are no more (or less) perfect than the rest of us.
they just seem to wear their faith boldly.
i was so impressed that night and look forward to the experience again.....and again.
quite a lesson for us all:)
God Bless the American Cowboy.....
and God Bless All of you, Too!