Cattle Drive

D L Henderson
3 min readMar 5, 2024

March 4, 2024

Ever watch a Western? Often cowboys are herding cattle, leading them, and pushing them, and keeping them close together. The cattle are mostly cooperative, even though there always will be a few strays which have a tendency to wander. The cowboys will round them up, mostly for protection from hazards in the landscape and sometimes protection from predators.

This morning, I realized all those scenes have a strangely parallel likeness to God, Jesus, and the Bible.

That isn’t supposed to be an insulting observation to God, Jesus, the Bible, nor Believers.

If you have any familiarity with the Bible you might see that this is a kind of parable in which the cowboys are working like the Angels, the Lead Rider,* being Jesus, chosen by the cattles’ Owner, who is God, the Swing Rider,* being the Holy Spirit, whom the Bible testifies comes alongside, helping to guide us as the Lead Rider is directing…

* — “The point man, also called the point rider or lead rider, is the cowboy who rides near the front of the herd — determining the direction, controlling the speed, and giving the cattle something to follow. Larger herds sometimes necessitate the use of two point men. An honored position on the drive, this job is reserved for more experienced hands who know the country through which they are traveling.”- (https://americancowboy.com/cowboys-archive/cattle-drive-positions)

Finally, there are people appointed by God to be Flank Riders** and Drag Riders”** as is found in Epehsians 4:11–13, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” — New Living Translation.

Bible.

**Flank rider

“Flank riders ride on each side of the herd, near the rear — about two-thirds of the way back. Their role is to back the swing riders up and keep the cattle bunched, preventing the back of the herd from fanning out.” (ibid)

**Drag rider

“The drag riders ride behind the herd to keep it moving, pushing the slower animals forward. Because of the exhausting work and insufferable dust, this unpleasant job is typically reserved for green cowboys.” (ibid)

“Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture…” {or cattle” in my scenario…}

- Psalm 100:3 NLT).

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between