Church, bbq and horses – The Natural Horseman

By Steve Stevens

A Cowboy’s accidental church service in a barbeque restaurant on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas.

I found myself killing some time before I was to pick up my mother-in-law at Dallas Love Field Airport on this chilly, rainy afternoon. I had been craving some good barbeque and drove by Smokey John’s BBQ, Home Cooking & Catering.

Outside photo of Smokey John's BBQ. (Photo by Steve Stevens)
Outside photo of Smokey John’s BBQ. (Photo by Steve Stevens)

It looked authentic (as I have always been a fine connoisseur of great barbeque and always on the hunt for it).

I find the ambiance to be just as important as the barbeque for any self- respecting bbq joint.

As I walked through what looked like to be an old shopping center from the early eighties, I entered through the glass door and found myself taken back in time. It was a combination of all kinds of people from all walks of life, eating, smiling and celebrating. This reminded me of my time I spent in southern Louisiana.

The energy in the room was electric and the smell of barbeque worked its way through every corner of the brick interior.

As I walked in, I was a little taken aback by the moment and that there was a man in front of the room giving a testimonial.
I ordered a beef tip stew with cole slaw and mac and cheese sides and a slice of cornbread. I found a seat in the back of the room to take everything in and put my cafeteria tray down on the red vinyl table cloth.

Smokey John's barbecue. (Photo by Steve Stevens)
Smokey John’s barbecue. (Photo by Steve Stevens)

I was riveted. The older African American pastor was giving a sermon on how we as men sometimes are too proud and too stubborn to listen to God’s signs and how he will keep giving them to you. But if you don’t listen, they become more difficult.

The beef stew was melting in my mouth and the cole slaw mixed well with its creaminess and tang.

I listened to one person after another talk about their struggles of not listening to the signs and with humor, spoke of how their wives were the first to warn them and that they would not pay attention. Some struggles were about near-death experiences with their wives, (which I could deeply connect to, after all my strong beautiful wife has been through.) And one talked about driving the wrong direction for an hour without wanting to ask for directions just to prove he was right, once again not listening to his wife.

It was really about having faith that God is leading you in the right direction if you just listen to him.

I can’t help but always compare everything to horses and I was thinking about how many times we are given the signs by the horse that we are not going the right direction, but how we stubbornly push through, knowing that our way is the right way no matter the consequences instead of stepping back and listening to what the horse is telling us. And like above where God will give us signs and they will become more difficult if we don’t listen, I can promise you—so will the horse—that sign can become down-right dangerous if we have ignored the warnings given to you by the horse.

If we step out of our own way, we can have faith that we are given these signs for the right reason and if we listen to our horse we can build a better relationship quicker and truer, and be the horseman and horsewoman we dream of being.
More importantly, if we listen, we can just be better in life.
Today’s message touched me.
God Bless

I was going to go for the peach cobbler but just didn’t have the room.