Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Willingness (02/21/05)
TITLE: Tail Holder? Not me!
By Pam Kumpe
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When I asked Al Pearson the question during the interview, I did think Tail was an odd first name, but I was with a bunch of cowboys at the Circle R Cowboy Church, so I went with it.
Al did his best to restrain himself, but his laughter, the glimmer in his eyes and his shoulders shaking told me he knew something I didn't. Even though, I was unsure what was so funny, I found myself laughing with him, as laughter is very contagious.
I retraced our conversation only to remain puzzled by his reaction. He was quite amused and uttered remarks between chuckles.
Trying to quiet the air, I explained myself, showing him the church business card, "I have already talked with Todd your pastor, with Joe who handles your music, and now with you. But, right here it says," I pointed to the name beside his. "It says, Tail Holder. So who is Tail?"
Al put his hand to his lips, saying something about blondes, and almost broke out into a roar. Even I was laughing out loud and realized my foot (or would that be hoof) must have found its way into my mouth. Maybe I had just swallowed both feet because he could not quit laughing at me.
He glanced across the room at the other cowboys walking by us.They strolled by wearing cowboy hats, polished boots and jeans; men, women and children headed to Cowboy Church for the Tuesday evening service.
I thought he might hoot and a holler and lasso those closest to us, so he could share with them the inside story of his private joke, the one on ME!
When Al finally recovered, he spoke, but obviously still tickled. "Tail Holder" - that is not a person - it's my job description. My work happens behind the scenes, with odd jobs, it’s not a job for just any one, as most do not want it. But for me, it’s my way of serving the Lord. I pray for the church and do what needs to be done, helping anyway I can."
So, the name was not really a name of a person, but rather a job title listed on a business card. He went on to explain how in the rodeo arena and in the life of a rancher; the cowboy at times requires an extra hand, someone to hold onto the tail of either a cow or horse.
When the tail is grasped and lifted, it tends to immobilize the animal. This helps the cowboy so he can maneuver the cow or horse, accordingly. The person holding the tail is key to the process.
It’s a very important job; but not a very glamorous one, still necessary at times.
Al accomplishes various tasks at his church, unseen by many; his work important and it includes praying for the pastor, the musicians, and the needs of the congregation.
There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he does not mind who gets the credit. And I recently met a man willing and available for service unto his Lord. And if it requires he hold onto a tail, so be it.
I wonder, if the Lord asked you to hold onto the tail would you be available or willing to serve in any capacity?
Maybe it's time to saddle up and take a ride back to the old rugged cross. I've heard Christ is always looking for a few good hands! He can always use you! I'm sure of it!
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