In Phoenix this week helping set up for “Art of the Cowgirl “. Woke up, got coffee and went to reading emails, and the first read was a real nice surprise.
I really get a lot of inspiration from reading Marty’s writing, but to be in one of his writings is a real honor, and to have my name in the same paragraph as Jesus doesn’t happen very often.
I hope Marty keeps writing and I hope you will subscribe and start reading. It’s a good way to start your day.
I get to start a colt this week at Art of Cowgirl. I will try to keep it cowboy simple, and thanks to Marty’s inspiration keep my spiritual life simple.
The first time I met Curt Pate, he was putting on a colt starting clinic in Casper, Wyoming. My dad had known him for several years, so he and I had a lot to talk about when we met. I truly enjoyed visiting with him, and watching his colt starting demonstration was great, as well. The thing I like about Curt is that he doesn’t get too showy. It’s not a circus act with him, maybe to a fault. I mean there are some of those clinicians who put on a pretty good show, and they develop quite a following because of it. Not Curt. He just starts a colt or works cattle and talks to the crowd while he’s doing it. It’s pure, and it’s simple. No witch doctoring here.
As he put a start on that colt in Casper, I was impressed. He just did it like I’ve seen a million guys do it, but he seemed to really be paying attention to the horse. It wasn’t like he was going from step A to step B to step C; he was moving with the horse. When the horse was ready to move, he moved. If the horse wasn’t ready to move yet, or he just wasn’t yielding the way Curt thought he should, he stayed right there until the horse was ready. There was no watch involved, but there also wasn’t a real formula involved, just a simple rule to make the right things easy and the wrong things hard and get that horse to feeling which was which.
When he got done, Mandi and I were standing visiting with some friends, and we overheard a few old boys saying, “Well, that wasn’t anything special. That’s just the way my grandpa done it.” No kidding. And that’s really exactly what Curt was saying. He was just sticking to the basics of horsemanship. There was nothing magical about it. No whispering, except what he tried to say under his breath (which is hard to do when you’re wearing a microphone). He simply put a nice little start on a nice little colt and did it as basic as a guy can. These guys were looking for some “Horse Whisperer” who was going to teach them to speak “Equus”. I think they were hoping for some pyro to kick the show off as well as some sort of timed colt breaking event. They went to the wrong show. Curt’s just pure cowboy, pure horseman, and I think he kind of likes it that way. He’s there for the horse.
Lots of times, we try to find some magical formula that will bring us closer to God. We try to find “The Secret,” and we search high and low for that path that will make us better Christians. I’ve listened to c.d.’s on prayer where the speakers talk about “mechanisms” in prayer. I’ve prayed with people who use all kinds of flowery language. I’ve talked to people who just wanted to feel something more during a church service. I’ve known people who were appalled that a church had chairs instead of pews.
The thing is that Jesus doesn’t want things that complicated. Sit on a pew, or sit on a rock; I don’t care. What are you talking about? Mechanisms. He even tells us to bag the fancy language when we pray. When the teacher of the law quizzed him on the greatest commandment, Jesus didn’t get all theological. He didn’t dig into any dogma or doctrine. He simplified it. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31). That’s about as simple as it gets. What about the Ten Commandments? They’re covered in these two. I like it. If we are doing something, as long as it is helping us love God with all we are, or it’s helping us love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we’re on the right track. One time, my doctor told me after I blew my knee out, “If it hurts, don’t do it. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re probably okay.” I like simplicity. So does Curt Pate. And so does Jesus.
Marty and Mandi Campbell
P.O. Box 112*Pendleton, OR 97801*541-278-2301