Having lived in Texas for the past 18 years, one thing I've learned is that having some grit and independence is a great thing (along with some smoked BBQ... ). I grew up in the North (the Great White North) in Western Michigan where all the snow landed first. I have many fond memories of Michigan but, being a Yankee and all, I thought cowboys were just in the movies. NOT TRUE... Texas (and many other states including California) have a lot of cowboys.
So, just what is a cowboy? Being a Northerner I can only give an observation, but a few of the qualities I've noticed in the one's I've met include: hard working, dedicated, strong, brave, honest, humble, not caught up in material things, animal loving, family focused, having a strong Faith in God, and self-sacrificing to name just a few. Not bad. It's not just cowboys either; it's cowgirls! Yes, Texas has plenty of cowgirls too with all the same characteristics.
It wasn't until a few years ago that I heard the expression, 'Cowboy Up!' for the first time. At first, it took me back a bit and I wasn't sure what to make of it. It was being used by a friend of ours who was giving some 'tough love' advice to their grown up son. After thinking on it a bit, it made total sense. It was great advice for a young man.
Here's what I took it to mean... Don't let life run you over. Don't feel sorry for yourself and complain when something doesn't go your way. Face it head on and be strong even when you feel like giving up. Stay humble and keep your focus. Work hard even when you are tired. Don't expect others to do something for you that you can do yourself. Trust God and always put other people first.. GREAT advice for all of us summed up into one phrase... 'Cowboy Up'... I love it..!
I've written a lot so far of leaning on God and trusting in Him, but that doesn't take away from the verses in the Bible like when Joshua was admonished to be 'strong and of good courage'. God wants to help us through our life, absolutely, but, He also wants us to keep ourselves from falling into the self-pity pit and a self-centered life full of worry and fear that can cripple us (trust me, I've been there all too many times). When we stand strong in the face of challenges, He will give us the strength and the courage to carry on even when we feel like we can't.
So, today, I'm going to take our friend's advice to their son and apply it to a few things in my own life. I'm going to 'Cowboy Up'.. ! Let's all 'Cowboy Up' together... :)
Have a blessed cowboy (or cowgirl) day!