Maybe God Wears A Cowboy Hat?

                                By Phil Scovell

               I  rode horses  a great deal  as a  kid growing up  in Iowa.
          Most summer  weekends I spent  Saturdays at a friend's  home just
          outside of Des Moines and we spent most of the day either fishing
          in the creek or on the back  of a horse.  Additionally, my father
          was a  country preacher.   He often  drove 50  and 60  miles into
          farming communities  on Sundays  and ministered  in churches  too
          small to  afford  a full  time pastor.   His  family, of  course,
          generally   went  along  and  since  these  were  mostly  farming
          communities, there were lots of horses to ride.  I didn't care if
          there was  a saddle or I rode  bareback; I just loved  being on a
          horse.   In  light  of  all of  this  horseback  riding, I  never
          considered myself a cowboy.   I especially hated wearing hats and
          never did wear them.

               When I  moved to Colorado, my  first job was  standing on my
          feet all day.  By evening, I could hardly walk.  My employer kept
          telling me,  "Buy cowboy  boots."   I had  no interest  in cowboy
          boots whatsoever and I told him so.  He said, "So, then, let your
          feet hurt."

               One day,  in total  agony, I  said to  my  boss, "Would  you
          please go  with me after work and help me pick out boots?  I know
          nothing about  them."   He did  so.  I  wore my  new boots  for a
          couple of days and then went back to shoes.  I couldn't even walk
          down  a flight of  stairs with my  boots on without  tripping and
          falling half way  down the steps.  I was never  going to get used
          to wearing boots and I knew it.

               Two weeks later, I was complaining to my  boss one day about
          how terrible my  feet hurt.  He  told me it was my  own fault for
          not wearing the cowboy  boots.  I explained I  couldn't even walk
          in  them and didn't  think I could  get used  to them.   He said,
          "Look.   Put the  boots on and  wear them until you  get over the
          psychological hang  up you have  about wearing them.   Don't give
          up."   I took  his advice  simply due  to the  pain my  feet were
          suffering.   Two weeks  went by  and I  was 100  percent sold  on
          wearing cowboy boots.  It is all I have worn for well over thirty
          years now.

               Recently, I  was in need  of some new  clothes.  I  had been
          putting off buying new cowboy  boots for over three years because
          boots aren't  cheap even if  they do last  many years beyond  any
          type of shoes.  So, I  was going to buy some new clothes  and new
          boots and my mind was made up.

               The day before  my purchase, I was thinking  about going out
          and  buying the  clothes.   I  hate shopping  and especially  for
          clothes but it had to be done.  As I considered what I needed and
          what I was  going to buy and  how much I would spend  on boots, I
          heard a small voice say, "Buy a hat."

               I immediately said, "What?  I hate all hats," and waited for
          the Holy  Spirit to continue.  He said  nothing.  I still waited.
          He still didn't continue.

               Unfortunately,  I knew  He was  referring to  a cowboy  hat.
          Finally  I said, "Lord, why do you want  me to buy a hat?"  I was
          almost in  tears at the thought  of wearing a  stupid cowboy hat.
          As  a blind person, hats always bothered  my ability to hear well
          omnidirectionally and  I just  didn't like hats.   I  didn't even
          like them, nor did I wear them, when I could see.

               Finally,  as I  waited,  the  Lord  said, "Because  you  are
          different now."

               "Hold the phone  there, Lord!  What  in the world does  that
          have to do  with buying, and wearing  I might add, a  dumb cowboy
          hat?  I'm not even a cowboy.  I don't own a horse.  The last time
          I rode a horse, my bottom hurt for a week.  I'm not  a cowboy!  I
          couldn't toss a rope if my life depended upon it."

               All  these things could  have easily come to  mind and I was
          tempted  to let  them come tumbling  out in  rebuttal but  due to
          prior experience with such arguments with God, I refrained.  Why?
          Because I am learning to listen to  the voice of the Holy Spirit.
          I  knew exactly  what He  meant when  He said,  "Because you  are
          different now."   The  hat isn't important;  my obedience  to His
          Word is.  In other words, it was a test to see if I would obey.

               You should  have seen  my youngest  son and my  wife when  I
          said,  after picking out the black cowboy  boots I wanted, "Now I
          want to go look at the hats."  They nearly left me standing alone
          in the store.   My wife even  said more than  once, "Why are  you
          buying a cowboy  hat?"  I  kept saying the  same thing; "I  don't
          know."  That wasn't true, of course, because I knew exactly why I
          was buying a hundred dollar cowboy hat; because Jesus told me to.
          Admitting that publicly, however, was a little difficult.

               So  now, every time  I leave my  house, I am  wearing a nice
          black cowboy hat.  People laugh and  say, "I can't believe what I
          am seeing."  I just smile and climb in their car just like I have
          always worn a cowboy hat  and boots.  No, I tell  very few people
          why I wear a cowboy hat  because, like you, they wouldn't believe
          me if I told them.  So I just wear my hat and every time I do, it
          puts a smile on  my face, joy in  my heart, and praise to  my God
          for caring  about me so much, He even tells  me what to wear.  It
          is like a  rancher friend of mind  has always said, "God  makes a
          pretty good  cowboy."  I'm  beginning to believe, God  might also
          wear  a cowboy hat.   Go ahead  and laugh  all you want  but wait
          until it  happens to you some  day.  Then  it will be my  turn to

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