One thing that has always intrigued me is calf roping. Sometimes it is a single rider, sometimes a pair of them. I am intrigued because these men train hard, practice often, and wear out miles of rope to compete for maybe five or ten seconds in their event. What dedication! What enthusiasm! What frustration!
I have seen a few rodeos, and have noticed that many times, these riders fail. Sometimes their horse jumps out of the gate too early. Sometimes the calf stops as soon as it leaves the gate. Sometimes the rope doesn’t tighten around the calf’s head, but around its body, or it slips through altogether. One thing stands out though: if given the chance, they ALWAYS throw the rope.
It occurs to me that we Christians might learn something from these cowboys. We might apply it in many different ways, but consider the application to teaching the lost. Jesus made the Apostles “fishers of men” (Mark 1:17), here in Texas we can appropriately be called “lassoers of men”!
When trying to teach someone the Gospel, we may fail quite often, but we still need to keep “throwing the rope”. We need to throw the rope of God’s Word, because only it has the power to save (Romans 1:16-17). We need to throw the rope of a godly example because through it people will glorify God (Matthew 5:16). We need to throw the rope of truth because only the truth sets one free (John 8:32). We need to throw the rope of love because it is the greatest of commandments and without it there is no profit whatsoever (1 Corinthians 13).
Oh, we will completely miss from time to time. We will catch some of them the wrong way and we will jump too soon and lose others. Some will even balk at the first contact. But some will be caught! Remember, it is a narrow way, and difficult (Matthew 7:13-14), but still some will find it. It is our duty to help them.
The point is, like the cowboys, we need to train and practice. We need to throw the rope whenever we get the chance, even if we don’t necessarily think it is going to do any good. Don’t let fear of failure or even past failures stop you. Even Jesus didn’t convert everyone…but he tried.