Pastor in the Pasture by Wendel Elliot: Nice horse
There’s that moment when a cowboy’s chest puffs up a little after some feller says, “Nice horse.” If you’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of compliment you appreciate those two words. You’ve worked hard and have invested the time and effort to get this horse to this particular point. You raised him or maybe bought him as a yearling. You started him and made sure you rode him plenty of miles. You have paid close attention to detail in care, training and work. This compliment that you’re receiving, is someone’s way of giving respect and honor for all of the unseen hours that are now in the past. It is a way to say, “I respect the way you handle your horse and how your horse actually handles.” Some of the simplest statements can carry a lot of weight. Especially, if these words are coming from an influential professional in the horse industry. This gesture is appreciated, however honor given that is more meaningful is that given at a memorial service.
That honor we’ve given and witnessed at those services is more dramatic and evident. We’ve all attended the memorial service of a respected rancher, cattleman, or horseman. Each service has its own touch and parts that make it extra special and honor the one remembered. I’ve attended, spoken at, and conducted memorials like the ones I’m talking about. Handmade caskets, horses and riders behind a team pulling a buckboard wagon, and the empty saddle on the horse. The very horse that he probably received compliments on while still here with us.
In like fashion and carrying even more weight is the honor that I’ve only witnessed via video and pictures. The honor that I refer to, is carried out on a daily basis by the United States Army 3rd Infantry, “The Old Guard.” Some of these soldiers are tasked with guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. That honor shines forth in the attention to detail, hard work and dedication of these soldiers. To watch the precision in the changing of the guard leaves a person in awe. This honor that is given by these soldiers is something that as a nation we should do likewise.
As Christians, we as followers of Christ are tasked with giving Him honor. Without disrespect to the former examples; we should give more honor to the One that laid His life down for us. The salvation that comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is worthy of honor above all.
Paul wrote these words to Timothy, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17 NIV)
I tip my hat to:
1. Those good hands out there (either still with us or that have gone on to be with the Lord)
2. The United States military and their families
3. Those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America
4. However, most of all to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The One that gave it all for all.
I’ll see ya’ll out in the pasture!