A Cowboy’s Faith: Mature wisdom retains ‘heart’

buchmanhead“Getting old’s not what it’s put up to be.”

Truth’s becoming more obvious each day of our maturity. All those things we were planning to do when we reached this stage in life, we can’t do any more than we could when we said we were scheming to four decades ago.

Worse part is then our body despite all clumsiness might have been able to, if we’d set our mind and effort to it.

Now, still uncoordinated, feeble, unfit and mostly scared, doing much of what we dreamed has become impossible.

Horses are no different, except that some of our mounts have had vast ability, doing what they did best, better than most others. But, their bodies wear out.

To be a winner, whatever the endeavor, requires “heart.” Research has proven that the fastest horses have the biggest hearts. Fortunately, we’ve had several horses with incomprehensible heart, desire to always do their best, no matter what.

A world champion horse, winner in every event, came to our place well into maturity, and obviously lame. But, he had heart. Roanie would limp to the arena; perform soundly with such finesse to win every time. Back outside, it’d make one’s tears roll, he hurt so badly.

An old rope horse wasn’t initially crippled, but running to the winner’s circle many times took its toll. Nugget could barely stand in the lot. Inside the arena, without gimp, heart took him to the paycheck.

Old horses are best for kids, and old folks. Now, we understand that, but it’s easy to forget they’re timeworn.

The elderly mare had a big knee when we got her, sometimes not putting weight on the leg. Missy’s heart was never lame in competition, beating champions’ decades younger. Winter cold worsened condition, yet her performance denies pain.

Evaluation verified no doctoring cure. Missy’s heart remains. Is it inhumane doing what she loves, or break her heart staying home?

Reminds us of Job 12:12: “With age is wisdom.” So, Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He implanted working purpose through the ages.” But, Second Kings 19:26: “Dispirited, limp souls become useless.” However, Zephaniah 3:19: “I will save the limping one.” Thus, Isaiah 46:4: “I’ll keep on carrying you on my back when I’m old.” Then, Proverbs 17:22: “A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful mind works healing.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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