At 10lbs, 13ozs he came into this world like a broncin' buck and he’s been living large ever since.
For most of his growing up life, he was the strong, silent type… more comfortable with the shadows than the spotlight. When he did speak, one of his favorite phrases was; “Go away, shut-up!” When he was asked for his opinion he would reply; “I don’t have to say anything.” Yep, there’s a bunch of cowboy swagger in my son Michael, and that’s a good thing. Although that swagger sometimes means that he’s stubborn like his dad, his heart is also big and teachable.
Now days, this young man is often in front, leading in his own way. No noise (well, not about himself, but I can assure you, he makes noise) no fanfare, just trying doing the right thing. This quality often shows itself where Michael works. My son works as a lifeguard at two different pools, one at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and the other is our local town recreation center.
A few weeks ago at the rec center, a cowboy up moment took place. Michael was watching a group of little kids jumping in the deep end of the pool to the waiting arms of their moms, all except one that is. She was more than a little scared and although encourage by friends and moms alike… she was having none of it. Michael’s shift in the lifeguard chair was over and he made one of those silent decisions. He dove in the pool and swam up to the group of kids; he held his arms up and told the little girl to jump in, saying…
“Don’t worry, I’ll catch you.”
I’m not sure why, maybe it was the image of a strong older brother type, but after a small hesitation… she jumped in!
Michael caught her and returned her to the side of the pool… now she was hooked. From that point on, she needed no further coaxing… she was free to join her friends in the simple pleasure of jumping into water. One less fear for that little girl to confront, and a lesson for the cowboy (lifeguard) as well.
For God didn’t give us the spirit of a sissy, but a spirit of strength, of love, and of self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
This past Sunday, Michael jumped into the deep end of our church service and helped lead worship. This was a huge leap for him and it took the same amount of faith and spirit that little girl displayed at the edge of the pool. Sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end.
You gotta cowboy up, dust yourself off
Get back in the saddle give it one more try
Sweat and blood it takes all you got
Cause the road to heaven is a hell of a ride
The tough get goin when the goin gets rough
Cause they know they gotta cowboy up
Chris Ledoux - Cowboy Up
He takes another step down the trail this fall when he begins his college adventure. There is excitement and the usual uncertainty that comes with a new trail to discover. I believe Michael will succeed because his trail boss is going with him on this ride.
To all who have chosen to saddle up with him, to those who believed in who they ride for, he gave ‘em the right to become cowboys of God. John 1:12
Love you Michael, so very proud of you. Remember, when you’re leading a herd, take a look behind you to make sure they’re still there!