Makin’ a Good Loop: Salvation comes to the Roping Box

Christian Youth Rodeo Association
Burlington, Kansas 2013

Now I don’t adhere to Darwin’s Theory of Biological evolution…but there seems to be some merit too it in the Rodeo Arena.  The problem presents itself as to who are the branches on the evolutionary tree, and who are the roots.  As a bullfighter, I’m considered contract help, meaning I get a guaranteed paycheck, but I’m working for it.  Sometimes long hours or injury and usually not very desirable jobs.  The Rough Stock riders and Ropers are the reason people show up to the performances so I guess they evolved from the primordial sludge that I represent as contract help.  The Rough Stock guys travel lighter but sleep 7 to a room.  They hit up more rodeos but they get hurt more often.  They usually blow into town to compete the day of and leave as soon as they are done…a roughstock rider doesn’t let the grass grow beneath his feet.  Ropers on the other hand, spend more in gas and on equipment, they travel with a rolling motel behind them and an awful persnickety travel partner (their horse).  But they do tend to have more longevity, smell better, wear clean jeans, and don’t jam 9 to a honda civic or double bed like bull riders do.  I don’t know who goes at the top of the tree but i know that Ropers usually think they do…and I really cant blame them. (this is only men’s events, because we all know Barrel Racers are the most important people in rodeo!)

I have tried to rope on numerous occasions and each time looking worse than prior.  My method of roping is run the calf until it gets so tired that it stands still enough for you to place the rope over its head.  For the record, it wont win you many ropings to do it that way.  To throw a good loop is one feeling that has eluded me thus far in my life.  I’m pretty sure that my form is so bad that no number of Roy “the Super Looper” clinics could straighten me out.  For one thing i don’t have the attention to detail that I see most ropers have.  The best seem to have a little OCD to them that I am lacking.  The saddle needs to be just right, or their hat, or shirt, or glove, or [insert any other piece of equipment they posses], which for the money some of them rope for makes complete sense.

Usually about the time I release my loop, is when I begin checking the rope.  I will see a kink, or knot, or twist to it that renders my lasso completely useless.  I have a booger of a time keeping my honda right, my spoke adjusted, my coils held, and my loop built all while trying to ride (I was just not made to do that many things at once).  But as I said, I never catch these things at an opprotune time, but as the loop is traveling adjacent to my horses head or hovering above my target.  The issue is simply that my rope was plagued with imperfections which caused it to become useless.

Hebrews 12.1 says: “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” (gk. euperistatos)   Tangles, knots, kinks, all of these things can happen to a good rope if care is not taken.  These issues get in the way of the rope doing what it was meant to do: catch calves.  When Hebrews talked about being entangled, perhaps you thought of an extension cord, christmas lights, or a fishing line.  My first thought was the calf rope that rides around in my pickup.  It has been everywhere, sat on by kids, roped with, stepped on and everything else.  It is completely useless as a calf rope now.

In Genesis 1-2 we were created to do a bunch of different things:

  1. Reflect God to the World (Gen 1.26-28)
  2. Increase in number and fill the earth (Gen 1.28)
  3. Work in the Garden (Gen. 2.5, 15)
  4. Rule the earth (Gen. 1.26, 28)
  5. Take care of/utilize/steward the earth (Gen 1.29)
  6. Dominion over the animals (Gen. 2.19-20)
  7. Relationship with God (Gen. 3.8)
  8. Relationship with other people (Gen. 2.18)

The problem is that in Genesis 3, when sin entered the picture all of these things got flipped upside down.  The very things that we were created to do was hindered by our disobedience to God.  Just like the rope that is all bound up and tangled, we forfeited our purpose because of our entanglements (Heb. 12.2).  We were made to reflect God, but now we live to glorify ourselves.  Filling the earth was supposed to be fun, now it involves pain (Gen. 3.16; and all the moms say amen!)  We were made to work, but now we toil (Gen 3.17).  We were meant to Rule the earth and steward it, now it produces thorns and thistels and serecia lespedeza that no matter how many times you walk and spray your fields with 24D it wont die (Gen 3.19).  We were meant to rule the animals, but we listened to the snake.  There is a massive schism between us and God called sin (Isaiah 59.1-2) and there is issues between us and each other.  Everything about what we were created for has changed because of our disobedience.

But just like a rope, when the knots get removed, it returns to its form, its shape, its purpose.  In the midst of this change, is the first propehcy of Jesus: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers: he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3.15)  This is the first step in God’s plan of getting our rope unknotted.  This is God’s first step in saving us from our sins.  When Jesus came in the New Testament, saw the unused ropes lying around, he took it upon himself to restore us, to restore our purpose, to restore our relationships, and make us useful once again!  “God demonstrates his own love in this:  While we were still tangled up, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5.8)  The rope was made to catch calves, but a tangled rope wont ever know the joy of doing what it was made to do.  Go to God and let him fix the problem.

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