By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
Waiting to do cowboy church at a rodeo recently and just wandering around behind the chutes at a rodeo, I saw a young bull rider with a Bible in his hand. It’s not a common sight anymore so that in itself was encouraging. Was he giving it to someone? Did he want to share something from it with one of the other guys that might have asked him a faith-based question?
Nope, it was with him to read it.
In all the noise and commotion around him with music blasting, rodeo cowboys getting their gear ready and countless other distractions, he stepped off to the side and leaned on a low section of wall around the arena to open his Bible up and read from it.
He spent about 10 minutes with headphones in, ignoring everything around him, reading from his Bible. Afterward, I asked him what he had been reading and it was a chapter in Isaiah.
Even at a rodeo you can find a little of what is referred to as quiet time. ‘Quiet time’ is kind of a church-speak phrase but it takes its example from the Bible. In church terms, quiet time is usually time spent alone studying the Bible and in prayer, obviously with the idea that you’re doing it somewhere without distractions.
Many Christians strive to make this a part of their daily routines to grow closer to God as they talk to Him and learn from His word to us in the books of the Bible.
People didn’t have a Bible to carry around then, all of what we know as the New Testament, hadn’t even been started, so there are no specific verses directing us to make this quiet time with our Bibles. However, there are plenty of scriptures that give us an example of Jesus taking time away from the crowds to spend with God.
Several times, Jesus would go off by himself to spend time with God.
Mark 1:35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
The verse in Mark was between an intense period of time Jesus spent teaching and working miracles. He broke away from the crowds to be alone to pray. Then in Luke, early is his time teaching, he had just healed a man with leprosy and word was spreading of the miracles he was working. It was causing crowds to gather and follow him. The work he was doing was essential to God’s plan for salvation, but he still broke away to spend time alone with God.
The clearest example is for us to make time to pray but as Christians, now armed with Bibles we understand is the main way God speaks to us, it only makes sense that we follow Jesus’s example and take time to not just pray but also read what we know to be God’s word to us.
And while the example Jesus gave us was to go away in isolation, even in a crowded place, this cowboy still managed to make a quiet place for himself to spend a few minutes in the Bible to put God first before getting his mind on the business of competing.