The Spirit of the Cowboy

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I believe it is time we, as Americans, get back to our roots. However, I think we’ve forgotten what our roots are. I offer, though, that our roots can be found in one person: the American Cowboy. (I should like to point out that America, though founded on Christian principles, is not Christian and never really was. But a Christian’s roots are found in Christ alone. And there is a difference between being a Christian and being an American).

I am convinced every country needs to have their own folklore, their own hero. A person to look up to, to believe in, especially when life gets tough, when you feel attacked and beaten, when you look around see only bickering and fighting from stubborn and opinionated people—when the quarrellings are over trivialities that become so big the heart of the issue seems all but lost.  With the exception of the very real God and the very real Son of God, Jesus Christ, every culture has and needs a hero to give us hope.  And in America, the hero, that symbol, is the Cowboy.

There’s a loneliness about the Cowboy that intrigues me—as though they chose to sacrifice an easy life for a hard and lonely one so the rest of us could enjoy those former pleasures. I’ve never lived or worked on a ranch, never competed in a rodeo, but deep down inside I have always been a cowboy. I’ve been thinking this morning, as I listened to the steady rain pounding on the asphalt, leaves, and roofs, about what it is that makes the Cowboy the Cowboy, and in one word, my answer is this: Character. The principles the Cowboy lived by are principles we should live by today. To help us remember what those principles are, at the end of this post is “The Lone Ranger’s Creed” and the “Code of the West.” I’ve borrowed them from another good website that does a wonderful job at reminding us who, or at least what, the Cowboy is.

I am convinced, and I try to make this my life’s motto, that the secret to life, the key to living a full and meaningful life, is this: First love God, then love others, no matter what it may cost you of your own life. And I think that is not far removed from how the Cowboy lived his life.

Help me keep the spirit, the character, and the principles, of the Cowboy alive.

(from http://www.thethomasranch.com/thomas_ranch_033.htm):

The Lone Ranger Creed:

“I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.
That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
That God put the firewood there but that every man must gather and light it himself.
In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
That ‘This government, of the people, by the people and for the people’ shall live always.
That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
That sooner or later… somewhere…somehow… we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.” –The Lone Ranger-

The Code of the Old West

1.     Respect yourself & others

2.    Accept responsibility for you life

3.    Be positive & cheerful

4.    Be a person of your word

5.    Go the distance

6.    Be fair in all your dealing

7.    Be a good friend & neighbor

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