I went to the Austin Rodeo this weekend and it was so much fun! As a Texas transplant I get a lot of child-like enjoyment (“Let the children come to me!”) in seeing show animals, pig races, deep-fried-everything-you-can-imagine, unique rhinestone belts, and decorative cowboy boots. This year I even got to see a baby kangaroo, and this animal to the left, which I have not been able to identify (I will go with “Longhorn Buffalo” for now).
Anyway, this was the first time I sat down and watched the Rodeo, and during the intermission between competitions they had mutton bustin’ races. Watch the video below for more info on mutton bustin’.
Videos don’t really do justice to just how cute this is. This is a race where 5- and 6-year-old kids hold on to sheep as tightly as they can for 8 seconds. Now I’m sure you’re thinking….what in the world does this have to do with Lent?
Well first of all – Lent is a short race. In the span of a few weeks, we are provided with the opportunity to reflect, sacrifice, and pray for a deeper closeness with God and understanding of His passion. Secondly, even if we start to slip, Lent is a time where we can keep holding on to the end. Many a mutton-rider made it to the end of his or her run sitting sideways, but the point is they made it! Yes it’s easier if you stay on top of things, but just because you lose the best position doesn’t mean that you’re out of the race.
Thirdly – both the racing and our Lenten journey have a shared philosophy – to simply hold on! Regardless of how bumpy your path is, God will see you through.
And last, but not least, think of the parent’s perspective of the race. As silly as the child is (mutton bustin’ is likely not a resume builder) he or she does put a lot of work into practicing and preparing for the race. Whether the little one is a winner or not, the parent can get sincere enjoyment out of preparing and then seeing his/her child take on the challenge. Can you image the giggles God must get out of some of our bumps and stumbles, even as He lifts His hand to help us up?
Halo Tip #1: Laughter has a lot to do with sainthood. Saints’ lives are marked by joy and laughter can definitely make us joyful. Enjoy a book or watch a movie that will give you a laugh, or spend some time with people who keep you in good humor!
Note: Reflections in this blog are my own and do not represent the positions of my employer.