This is one of those poems that just sort of showed up. I knew where I wanted to get but I wasn't sure what the journey would look like. So, I started writing and the path became clearer.
I think that's the case with a lot of what we do. If we wait for all the stars to allign, the lights to all turn green and everybody else to shake their head "yes" we'll never get anything done. Remember, God can't lead a stabled horse, He can't steer a parked car or sail a docked boat. But once we're moving, God can direct our path. We have to step out in Faith.
The L. R. U.
Jim rode up through what looked like snow
but the air weren’t near that cold.
and he thought, “This must be Kansas,
there are no hills to behold.”
Up yonder, there’s a rider
who waived him, come ahead.
And when Jim rode up close enough
the other cowboy said,
“Welcome to the home place,
I’m the foreman; name is Pete.
If you’re looking for some steady work
or just a bite to eat
you’re welcome here. But tell me pard,
what brought you out this far?”
Jim looked around and then asked Pete
to tell him where they are.
“It’s called the LRU,” Pete said.
“I’d love to stay,” said Jim.
“The owner’s always near,” Pete smiled,
“Why don’t you talk to him.”
Then said, “Your tack is mighty worn.
Your clothes are tattered too.
You must-a-had it pretty rough.
I’ll tell you what I’ll do.
I’ll just exchange those filthy rags
for a new outfit to wear
and trade your tack and saddle in.
That is, if you don’t care.”
Jim said, “I sure will pay ya
for the duds and all the tack.”
Pete said, “It’s all been paid for
by the owner sometime back.
But there are things that you can do.
When you see need, lend a hand.
And tell folks that you do it
‘cause you’re riding for our brand.
Remind ‘em that they’re welcome here.
We’re open night and day.
Then point them to the narrow path
that brings them on this way.”
We thought the horse wreck killed old Jim.
He sure looked all done in.
Then both eyes opened and he started
describing where he’d been.
“The prairie’s thick with sweet grass
and you never hear a car.
And anywhere you have to ride’s
not far from where you are.
The cattle all go easy
and everywhere you look
everyone is smiling
and the food is proper cooked.”
One fella said Jim smacked his head
much harder than he thought
then they all wandered back to work.
But some of us did not.
Jim said, “They think I’m crazy
but I’ve seen what’s ahead.
I’m giving up my rowdy rides
for the narrow path instead.
And you too have a choice to make,
don’t live your life by chance.
There’s glory at the LRU;
God’s own “Last Round-Up Ranch.”
Jeff Hildebrandt © 12/1/09