When I was single, I attended a rodeo with our college and career class from my church. It was neat; it was something to do with other young, single adults. But I did not have a love for it. The most I remember is the smell of horses! It is still something I can hardly stomach since I am a city girl by birth. I am not sure if I will ever get over the hot, sweaty smell that comes with horses ~ maybe one day.
When my husband and I met, he was a bull rider turned rodeo photographer. Rodeo is in his blood and knowing that it was not in mine, he was very considerate. Within the first year of our marriage, he hung up his camera so we could work on our marriage. We made VOWS to EACH OTHER and to God and he did not want anything to come between us; so he was willing to put aside something that would have put a wedge between us. Honestly, being on the road every weekend and several nights during the week was hard on me; it was something I was not accustomed to and it would have hurt our marriage.
Hollywood and the news media do not show all the "behind the scenes" of a bull rider's life. While there are rewarding moments, there are also times of struggle. For many, those struggling moments out way the moments of reward.
Climbing on the back of a 1,000+ pound animal who is going to fight to get the rider off there, is not a sport for some. In fact, it is not a sport for most men. Each time a rider climbs on, he knows there is a good chance he will be hurt. But he takes the chance anyway because it is a sport he is passionate about.
So how do I really feel about my son pursuing bull riding? It is just like every other sport; there is a cost that comes with it. Kids get hurt playing football, baseball and soccer. There are kids who are FORCED to play a sport they have no desire to be competing in. They are not allowed to focus on their passion, but rather a parent's dream. Believe it or not, there are parents in the youth rodeo who are FORCING their child to compete in events they have no desire to compete in. So yes, this enforcement is NOT only in team sports. Just like those Christmas toys that were a must have and played with for a day and soon forgotten, a sport is easily forgotten about also.
My husband has shared many of the rough spots he encountered while he competed. No, those encounters do not all pertain to riding, but other areas in his life. The years he rode and the lessons he learned, he can use as a teaching tool for our son.
It is our job to teach and guide Jamie while he is still under our accountability umbrella. If we do our job correctly and Jamie is obedient and tender-hearted for the Lord, he will be fine pursuing his passion.