Saturday, January 16, 2010

Riding the Bull

Sometimes life can be like bull riding.

Ever think of it that way?

A bull rider only needs to stay on a bull for 8 seconds to win. That seems like a relatively short time. Most of the things we do--the activities of life, are of relatively short duration. Longer than 8 seconds--but still short in comparison to a lifetime of activity.

In the bull riding competition, the bull is trying to get the rider off him as soon as he can using every trick in the book to dismount the rider. The rider is hanging on just trying to stay on the bull.

In terms of relative size--the bull is many times greater than the rider--yet a good rider can actually ride the bull.

I noticed something interesting about bull riding while I attended the Professional Bull Riders Association meet in Baltimore a few weeks ago. Riders are not alone. It takes a team. There is a team of people who assist in getting the rider onto the bull before the ride and then there are some very specialized people who help the rider get out of the ring after he either successfully rides the bull or is dismounted.

Life is like that.

We are the riders hoping to hang on for 8 short (lifetime seemingly long) seconds. Life (the bull) is doing everything in its power to unseat us.

But we hang on. For dear life, we hang on. Better than to be trampled under the feet of the raging bull.

Successful "hangers-on" in life know they are not doing it on their own. They have help--family, neighbors, friends staying on top of the bull of life. Our team helps us prepare for the ride and then either picks us up after we are thrown or celebrates with us if we successfully ride the bull.

To take a snap shot from something that happened recently--Lucas' birth. Although it really was Nicole doing the work, she was supported by her husband and a larger family, and medical staff throughout the pregnancy and birth of Lucas. And from Lucas' perspective--he went from being uniquely bonded with his mother, to being part of a much larger family and it is a family that he will continue to be part of for his whole life.

Wow--I'm riding the bull!

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