Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Calf Wrangling - THE TEAM

The Arizona Cowboy College staged a simulated calf wrangling event for a group of ladies with no knowledge of how to be a cowboy. Our prototype event was set up to look like what you might see on branding day. The format included two riders on horseback. The first rider corners and directs a calf to the gate while the second rider guards the gate to prevent others from exiting. As the first rider brings the targeted calf to the gate the second rider moves toward the herd to rally the next one.

The two riders with their horses come together to accomplish the task of steering the calf in the direction they should go.  

A mother and father come together as a team to prepare their children for a life of true greatness1. You can think of it like branding in a way. We are to teach our children who their master will be, what their mission involves, and how to choose a mate to accomplish it2.

The prince of this world (John 12:31) has established counterfeit measures of success to place our focus on (Matthew 16:26): power, wealth, beauty, and fame. If we inadvertently aim our children toward these things, then we set them up for an adulthood that is self-absorbed, unnecessarily complicated, and one that can’t be satisfied3. We simply have to look to the lives of those that have achieved a measured amount of worldly success to see the emptiness they still live with.

I can attest as a casualty of the success trap. I lived 32 years apart from God ravenously seeking after these superficial measurements never satisfied. The emptiness eventually led me to despair. I have come to learn the efforts to reverse the curse and close the door to the enemy of God are tough but take us on the most thrilling adventure4. The Whee Factor documents my journey of redemption and invites you to join me. 

God’s Word encourages us to aim our children toward true greatness not success5:

  • Success looks inward; true greatness looks upwards then outwards.
  • Success is about my agenda; true greatness is about God’s.
  • Success accommodates selfishness; true greatness celebrates servant hood.
  • Success is about receiving; true greatness is about giving.
  • Success worships what it sees in a mirror; true greatness grieves for what it sees through its windows.
  • Success pays off for now; true greatness pays off forever.

… Whoever wants to be great, must be a servant of all.
- Matthew 20:26

As parents we can begin now to work as a team to:

  • Instill a heart of humility, gratefulness, generosity, and servant hood in our children.
  • Pray for our children to know Jesus as their master.
  • Pray for our children’s future mate: their upbringing, their mission.
  • Pray for our children to realize their unique gifts so they can be used to develop a significant purpose for God.
Be sure to read other posts in this Calf Wrangling series:

The Rider
The Horse
The Relationship
The Roundup
The Team


  1. Kimmel, Dr. Tim, Raising Kids for True Greatness.
  2. Raising Truly Great Kids Conference Manual, pages 61-63.
  3. ibid, page 58.
  4. Sutherland, Edy. The Whee Factor.
  5. Family Matters newsletter, December 2008.


Anonymous said...

The world is continually trying to teach our children something. Unfortunately, it's normally half true or an outright lie. I loved the way you emphasised praying for our children to see the truth and think that it's also important that we pray for ourselves/each other as parents that we would be able to show them God with our lives and actions.