Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Chaplain as Smooth Outrider

What are you talking about?  Chaplain and smooth outrider? 

If you are a rodeo fan, you’ll know the value and importance of the smooth outriders.  When a bunking bronco has completed his efforts to dislodge the cowboy from his back, he’s still a little agitated and kicks and bucks.  He’s forgotten the mission is complete and it’s time to head back to the holding pen.  He needs some help to calm down.  This is where the smooth outrider comes in.  Sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s two outriders that enter the arena where the bronco is.  They ride up next to their frenzied friend and come along side.  Their manner brings calm to the bronco.  These outriders then guide the bronco to the holding pen for rest and food. 


The outriders are in every strata of the horse business.  In a story http://www.paulickreport.com/features/breeders-cup-presents-connections/the-wild-ride-of-an-outrider/ I read of the work of John Garges, an outrider.  He and his horse have brought calm to such a notable horse as American Pharaoh, leading him quietly to the winner’s circle.  Garges then tells an interesting story: “I've had a few people ask what you do when there's a horse running the wrong way, and well, you catch him going the wrong way. That's what you do.”


How does this apply to the Chaplain?  Have you noticed that from time to time, a fellow IDT member might get a bit upset at a decision made by the organization or another might be distracted by a personal problem, or yet another get hurt feelings and leave the meeting room in tears?  They need a smooth outrider to come along beside them to calm them.  That, my Colleague, is your role more often than not.  You have a wonderful opportunity to use your kind influence to get them going in the right direction.  You might even save their career.


The Chaplain is a peace-maker, a peace-giver.  Your demeanor may just be what that troubled IDT member needs.  As for the Chaplain Team as a whole, we need each other for support and a right perspective on what is happening around us.  While we cannot solve everyone’s problems we can be there as a calming influence.  “Saddle up, Smooth Outriders!”

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