A bull rider lay flat in the dirt after losing a head butting contest with the bull he had tried to ride in a rodeo competition. As he lay motionless, the crowd became silent, sensing that he was seriously injured.
An emergency room doctor happened to be in the stands when the horrible injury occurred. He rushed to the fallen cowboy, as did several of the other riders in the competition.
The doctor found that the cowboy’s face was smashed into his skull. He wasn’t breathing, and if the doctor wasn’t able to stabilize the injured man, he would die within 3-5 minutes.
In order to gain the confidence of the people surrounding the fallen cowboy, the doctor kept repeating, “I’m an emergency room doctor!” However, as he attempted to stabilize the cowboy, the man’s fellow riders kept tugging at their fallen comrade.
Then, one of the cowboys said, “Doctor, I just finished EMT training. What can I do to help you?”
“You can get these other guys away so that I can try to save this man’s life!”
Quickly, the doctor was given the space he needed to work on the cowboy. He got him stabilized, and the man was taken to the hospital for further treatment. Although he was badly hurt, he did survive the ordeal.
Later, the doctor asked about the behavior of the cowboys back at the rodeo. Why were they interfering with his efforts to save the man’s life? He learned that they were trying to get the cowboy’s chaps off of him. What most people don’t realize is that a cowboy’s chaps are personally designed for him. It is part of his armor. A good pair of chaps can cost several hundred dollars or more. And what’s the first thing EMTs do when they get to an injured person? They cut the clothes off the person so that they can give them the treatment they need. So, the cowboys who tried to get the chaps off of their fallen buddy thought that they were doing him a favor, when in fact they were risking his life.
Many of us have spiritual “chaps” that we want to hold onto, even though there is great danger in doing so. People want to hold onto an immoral relationship, a vulgar speech pattern, a habit of drunkenness, a spirit of bitterness, etc. rather than casting off that sin in order to live fully for Jesus.
“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”—Hebrews 12:1.
Do you have any “chaps” you need to let go of?