A real cowboy

image courtesy of photobucket.com

Some things just seem to go together, natural pairs or partners you might say. Like salt and pepper, chocolate and peanut butter, Bonnie and Clyde, Abbott and Costello, morning and coffee, and freedom with America. You get the idea.

Then there are other things that don’t work so well together. Things like oil and water, a fool and his money, Samson and Delilah, love and hate, to name a few. Rules change a bit along the way. Chemists have figured out how to mix oil and water as an example but, in general, it’s easy to spot things that don’t seem to fit together.

I’m not a cowboy, I’ve only ridden horses a few times, but growing up in the southwest I’ve seen my share of real cowboys. I mean the ones that Waylon and Willie sang about, type of cowboys.

I was in the northeast valley where there are a lot of ranches and horse farms. Driving right in front of me was a pretty new Nissan pick-up truck. That’s not earth-shattering news in and of itself, but then I spotted a real cowboy hat that the driver was wearing.

The cowboy hat was bent down in a steep curling motion in the front and the back so as to block the sun. As I got up next to him I glanced over and the hat didn’t look like it was for show, it had yellow discolored sweat stains and all.

How could this be? Didn’t he know the rules of the west? Real cowboys don’t drive foreign jobs? He’d come closer to still being a cowboy wearing a Speedo with his cowboy boots than drive a foreign made pickup!

That’s like a member of the Hells Angels riding a Honda! It just is not done. Period… End of story.

You know you’re getting old when you see something that doesn’t make sense and you squint your eyes a bit and barely shake your head from side to side in an unapproving motion.

By the way, that rule (for those of you interested in these type of etched in stone rules) doesn’t apply to women. Look, I don’t make the rules, I just adhere to them OK?

Sometimes when we walk into church, especially the early service, older people will give me that “look.”

I walk in with shorts, although dress shorts. Shirt, although dress shirt, untucked. Shoes, although dress shoes, no socks. Hair, although clean, long and pulled back into a ponytail. Sunglasses, although Arizona, slim similar to the ones Clint Eastwood wore in the Dirty Harry movies, pushed back onto my head while inside.

What’s not to hate? I almost don’t blame them. After all, ┬áit seems we all have an unwritten rule book or guidelines we expect everyone else in the world to abide by, right?

Who am I to judge Cowboy Carl for driving a Nissan? He might be able to ride a bull for 8 seconds, who knows? I’ve done some pretty dangerous things in my life, straddling a 2,000 lb. bull with his privates strapped up tight won’t be one of em’.

While a big portion of Christians are relying on our senses, namely eyesight to judge other Christians and non-Christians alike, we need to remember that God looks at the heart.

What can I tell about Cowboy Carl’s heart by seeing his cowboy hat, truck, or boots?

Not a cotton-pickin’ thing…