The Cowboy Pastor’s Wife Norma Elliott: 10 Things I’ve learned about life while working cattle
You know that feeling you get when you realize that you’ve done something wrong? You either feel the stares of others or you get called out. I wasn’t raised on a ranch nor had I ever worked cattle until I met my husband. Working beside him on ranches has given me a fresh perspective on the long traditions of respect that’s shared between cowboys and cowgirls. Respect is evident whether working together in the pasture or in the pens. I know you can relate as you read through each one. How quickly we have forgotten these common sense ranch lessons and how they are important for how we treat each other in life.
1. Asking Someone How Many Cows They Have. Seems like a good conversation starter, right? No, it’s nosy! It’s kind of like asking someone how much money they have in the bank. Some things are just not any of our business. Life lesson: Mind your own business unless the information is offered to you.
2. Using Someone Else’s Tack Without Asking. Borrowing without permission should be a given. What if it’s a good friend? What if it’s a family member? Sometimes we take for granted those who are close to us. Life lesson: Always Ask!
3. Not Letting The Boss Lead The Way. He’s the boss for a reason. Chances are he had to work for that position. You may have a better way of doing it but remember he’s the boss. Life lesson: Be respectful of your boss, and do things his way.
4. Asking For Another Spot in the Drive. I have to laugh at this one, only because I did it once! Once is all it took! Be where you’re asked. Life lesson: Focus on the job you’re assigned.
5. Riding Between the Herd And Another Rider. It’s rude to ride in front of another rider and take over their cattle. I would equate it to stealing someone’s job. Life lesson: Be of help to the guy next to you, the Lone Ranger is only fun to watch on t.v.! No Lone Ranger needed here.
6. Ropin’ Someone Else’s Calf in the Pasture. The rule is, the first person tracking a calf with their rope down is the first to rope, after that its fair game for the next guy. Life lesson: Take turns; remember we learned this in kindergarten.
7. Walking Between the Camp Cook and the Wagon. The wagon and fire are the cook’s work space. He’s a busy guy and doesn’t need to dance around you with Dutch ovens and hot coals. Life lesson: Be respectful of others work.
8. Not Eating what’s Served. It’s rude to not eat what’s served, even if you’re allergic or on a special diet, no need to make a big deal. Consider how it feels to work hard on something only to have someone turn up their nose. Life lesson: Be thankful, it’s not all about you.
9. Assuming You’re the Next to Drag. The boss will call on someone to drag. He will usually say, “Bill, get your horse.” Even if you’re a hand with a rope, the boss may need you to flank. Wait to be invited, just like an invitation for dinner. Life lesson: Wait for an invitation.
10. Assuming the Day is Done. It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings, well, it ain’t over until the BOSS says it’s over. There may be something else to do even after the cattle have been taken back to pasture. Life lesson: Work all the way thru!
Can you imagine the difference we can make in our marriage, homes, or out in the pasture if we remember these 10 rules? These ranch lessons only point us back to our true roots. What does God say about respecting one another?
Look at Phil. 2:3 says,”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”
With that, I better get to work. I’ve got a lot to learn!
What ranch lessons have you learned that have helped you in life?
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