Be strong and perservere

I want to tell you a story. It’s a story about perseverance.

Tonight, my wife, mother-in-law, and I went to the Great Darke County Fair. If you live anywhere remotely close, I recommend you go. It’s one of the only real, old time county fairs left this side of the Mississippi, and it’s a blast.

At any rate, we got our food tonight at the Darke County Beef and Pork Producers, something that has become a tradition for us, and sat and ate while we watched the 9-11 year olds show their steers. There were five entrants in that category this year, including one boy who was probably 10 with a monster Holstein steer.

The boy was trying his best, but the steer was having none of it. He pushed the boy with his head. He reared back on his lead. He refused to turn. He started to kick a little.

But that boy stuck with it. At one point he wiped away tears. He got a little mad and yanked on that lead. He pushed the steer back. And he made it through the whole showing. He even walked the steer out to his dad, and walked out of the barn standing tall.

Sure, he probably found somewhere to cry. After all he’s ten and what just happened was terrible for a ten-year-old. But the fact is that he stuck with it. The judge said he finished fifth of five, but from my view he finished first because he didn’t give up even when he had every reason to.

Life can be a recalcitrant steer and more sometimes. It’s easy to give up and give in sometimes. It’s easy to throw up our hands and shout at heaven, “Why bother?”

But the fact is that the measure of who we are is what we actually do at those moments. Do we stand firm? Do we keep trying? Do we see things through?

Sometimes it takes a 10-year-old boy and a monster steer to remind us of the right answer. Be strong and persevere, my friends.