sunset at SDP Buffalo Ranch

The Twilight Zone … Or is it?

Sometimes I get nostalgic and think about life when I was a kid. Life was pretty darn boring then, compared to what we’ve got now. Granted, I was a kid and the “Information Age” didn’t exist. I was born of goodly parents; I’m pretty sure they sheltered me, too.

I think of my kids now and their perspective. Their world seems to change on a monthly, weekly and now daily basis. They seem to take it in stride, though. I’ll grant them that. Maybe they are just naïve. They don’t know what we adults know, right? Or perhaps they are far wiser than the lot of us.

They believe the words they hear and say in prayer. They believe God is in control. They don’t fall prey to the complexities of life. They see good/bad, naughty/nice, kind/mean, give/take, right/wrong.

This blog comes to you through my friends at Quarter Horse News … great folks bringing to you the news of the performance horse industry. We are all horse folk. Some for pleasure, some for profit and, hopefully, all in it together. We have owners, service providers, suppliers, hobbyists and more.

There are over 100,000 of us. We are spread all across the globe. I know this because I have seen the data, the analytics. I have seen my very own blogs shared, reshared, opened and translated on six continents and amongst the diversity which makes up humanity. It could be millions, for all I know. I just re-read this paragraph, and it’s weird to even write it. But, it is true.

I’m not special. I’m just a guy in Texas that uses a platform to write my thoughts. I haven’t written as much on industry-specific things as of late, at least not as much as I know I probably should. That’s not the direction I’m going in today, either. Today, I am typing out the words on my mind.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from my banker. I have done business with him for more than 10years. I consider him a friend. He is a good man. We have not spoken in more than a year. He called me and said he was feeling gloomy, needed a “pick me up.”

He wanted to speak with a positive person, and my name popped in his head. I got a good chuckle out of that. We visited for no more than five minutes. He voiced his concerns with the state of things, the pandemic, the panic, the anxiety of the unknown. He is very smart, experienced and wise. I can’t say I disagreed with anything he had to say, but what we concluded on is what’s really important.

He and I don’t belong to the same church or anything, but when it comes to our religious leanings, I reckon we are probably about 80% the same. It could be higher, could be lower, but it doesn’t matter. What does matter is: faith, hope and charity.

I’m a Christian — a “Bible” thumping, miracle seeing, He is risen, repentant, grace-seeking, believer. I don’t just want to believe in Jesus Christ, I want to believe him. Believe what he said and also believe his assurances.

He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

Jesus himself prophesied of the latter-days, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear …” (Luke 21:26).

I love what the apostle Paul said to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” (Philippians 4:13).

If I already know how the story is going to end, why would I fear? I won’t.

We find ourselves literally living in a historical moment. My wife, Jane, and I visited with my parents last night. It occurred to me, right now, this time, it’s a Pearl Harbor, D-Day, assassination of JFK, moon landing, 9/11 moment. We will remember this time for the rest of our lives. We didn’t know what was going to happen in our tomorrows during those perilous times, as we don’t know what will happen in our current tomorrow, now.

Perspective is super important. Is the world going to end? Yep. It could be in a year, 100 years, 1,000 years, in a billion years, but it will happen. My grandparents are part of “The Greatest Generation,” and they are just that because of what they did in tribulation. What they made of it from the ashes.

The world was on fire. Millions of people perished, most were innocent civilians, slaughtered by dictators. The communist regimes alone, more than 100 million killed. Ten to 20 years later, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge wiped out 25% of the Cambodian population. I’m pretty sure their world was coming to an end. I cannot imagine their state of mind.

I think of one of my great heroes, Abraham Lincoln, doing all in his power to keep this country together. The sacrifices made. The very famous letter he wrote to Mrs. Bixby:

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln.

I promise you, Mrs. Bixby’s “world” was certainly “coming to an end.” I think she’d look at us here and now, and say to us, “You know not.” Perspective.

COVID-19? I’m not a medical expert. I read the official reports, not the one’s found on Facebook from “shares” coming from fraudulent websites. I’m a numbers guy, trying to put things into perspective.

From 1347-1351 A.D., the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) killed 200 million people, an estimated 33% or 1 in 3 of the world’s population at that time. COVID-19, at the time of writing this, has killed 8,000 people worldwide, meaning 0.0001039% of the world’s population has died. Perspective.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take this seriously. Death is no joke. Social distance, wash hands, chill out. Ok, cool. But the world is not coming to an end. I have to question anyone that wants to incite fear, panic, or get profit or power from this. There are plenty that see opportunity in a state of fear.

Last night, I was on a call with the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Stallion & Breeders Committee discussing with the NCHA’s staff the status of the schedule for the Super Stakes and the ramifications of its current postponement. I commend these fine people and their efforts to adapt to circumstance. In a fluid situation, it’s hard to make concrete decisions. So much can and will change in the coming days and weeks. I want to give my voice; good will come out of this. Stay tuned. We have to have faith and hope. #NCHAStrong

Twenty years from now, 2020 will be a punchline of memes, the toilet paper apocalypse! I’m not making light of seriousness. The economy only works when we spend money. People only have jobs when we spend money.

Horse trainers, vets and service providers eat when their owners pay their bills. Stallion managers feed their kids when people breed mares. I will stay 6 feet away from everyone, wash my hands thoroughly and socialize from a distance. But, life goes on. We have to make it so. This is the greatest time in human history to be alive. We have more, can do more, see more, be more and live longer than all the royalty of human history. Heck, I get to be a cowboy for a living. Crazy.

Of all the majestic titles God Almighty could go by — the Alpha and Omega, the creator of the universe — the title He has selected for us to call him is that of Father. He does not speak in a shout, but in a whisper. Perhaps this time is a time of reflection, correction, a gentle nudge to be humble, be still, to pray, to love, to listen. The idols of today just aren’t as relevant this week as they were last week. Hollywood’s finest, athletes and social media influencers just don’t seem to matter much right now, do they? Perspective.

We are living in history. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I know the sun will come up tomorrow and life will go on. Faith, hope and charity are timeless.