Bob Tamasy: The World Needs More Cowboys

Thursday, April 4, 2019 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

At the risk of giving folks a hint at just how old I’m getting, I recall that as a boy one highlight of my week was Saturday morning when I would watch the cowboy shows. There included Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger, Wild Bill Hickok, Hopalong Cassidy, Annie Oakley, and the Cisco Kid. Do you recall any of those?

Then after school and on the weekends when we had run out of TV shows to watch, we’d often engage in games of “cowboys and Indians.” There were no video apps or cable in those days, and the only tablets were what the doctor instructed us to take two of, then call him in the morning. So we actually had to go outside and play. However, growing up in suburban New Jersey, we really knew little about what cowboy life was really like.

So I was intrigued when I happened across a promo video produced by the University of Wyoming, whose mascot is the Cowboy. The video, part of a broader promotional campaign, is called “The World Needs More Cowboys,” and it’s been seen by at least half a million viewers. Actually, it created a bit of a stir because a couple of professors denounced it as being “racist” and “sexist.” Isn’t everything racist and sexist these days?

The university’s female president strongly disagreed. She wrote, “The campaign takes [our] strongest asset – our iconic bucking-horse-and-rider mark and the Cowboys mascot – and modernizes it to reflect today’s challenges. It redefines what it means to be a Cowboy in this day and age…the inner spirit of curiosity and boldness that all who call themselves Cowboys and Cowgirls can identify with – no matter their race or gender….”

I’m not advocating for the university; I’ve never even been to Wyoming. And if you’ve read my blog long enough, you know I’m a Buckeye that bleeds Scarlet and Gray. But I enjoyed the metaphor.

In the video important questions are raised: “Restless curiosity. Whatever happened to that? When did we stop thinking up new questions and daring to chase down their answers? Should we blindly follow predetermined paths when they never take us anywhere new?...when there’s still so much to explore off the beaten trail? The world needs more wonder, more outside thinkers hungry for a challenge. The world needs more cowboys…. It’s a shared spirit…the spirit of the underdog, the trailblazer, the kind of spirit that longs for something to prove. The kind that emboldens those who possess it to stand on the perimeter and howl on the unknown with unbendable optimism.”

There wasn’t a Christian undercurrent to this message. But what it proclaims could easily apply for those of us who follow Jesus. Because today, the culture seeks to dictate for us what we should think, what we should say, how we should act. The one-time Judeo-Christian consensus that served to undergird our nation is evaporating before our eyes. As a result, every day we’re becoming more like cowboys than entrenched “settlers.”

When we read the Scriptures, we see this trait in Christ’s disciples. Yes, they were fishermen, tradesmen and even a tax collector. But I doubt any of their mothers ever heard the musical refrain, “Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.”

At a time when society and culture are insisting on conformity in the name of “tolerance,” we read the admonition from Romans 12:2, which tells us “do not be conformed to the pattern of this world,” or as a popular paraphrase expressed it, “don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” The passage doesn’t say, “be more like cowboys,” but it could have.

Speaking to a multitude that had gathered to hear His teaching, Jesus warned, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14).

Being a follower of Christ doesn’t mean we can’t ask questions or even wrestle with doubts about our faith at times. Rather, we should strive to be more like the noble Bereans who, examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). At the same time, we should be conducting our lives in such a way that we raise questions – among those we encounter: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

Another trait cowboys possess, even with their curiosity, boldness and willingness to blaze new trails, is unwavering commitment to the task, to what they’ve been called to do. Similarly, in a world described as post-Christian, post-modern and increasingly secular, it seems our responsibility before God involves becoming more the exception and less the rule.

This doesn’t mean we must forsake our beliefs, or the principles and truths by which we live and formulate our faith. To the contrary, we should remember what Joshua told the Israelites as they were preparing to venture into the Promised Land for the first time. There they would encounter a variety of false gods, pagan gods formed of wood and stone. So Joshua exhorted them, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

How about it? Are you willing to become a bold, curious, unwavering cowboy for Christ?

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog,, or his website (now being completed), He can be emailed at

Mike And PaMela Patton Speak At Metro Tab Church Sunday

Bob Tamasy: Hating to Exercise, Loving To Have Exercised

Men's Discipleship Conference Is June 29 At Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist

Metro Tab Church will have Pastor Mike Patton, its missions pastor, along with his wife, Pastor PaMela Patton, give a update on Honduras during the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday. The praise ... (click for more)

More than 20 years ago, after my first trip to Europe where I walked for miles every day, I decided to continue my new habit by power-walking several times a week. Then, after my open-heart surgery ... (click for more)

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 1115 N. Moore Road in Chattanooga, announces their Men's Discipleship Conference on Saturday, June 29 from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch ... (click for more)


Mike And PaMela Patton Speak At Metro Tab Church Sunday

Metro Tab Church will have Pastor Mike Patton, its missions pastor, along with his wife, Pastor PaMela Patton, give a update on Honduras during the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday. The praise and worship will be led by worship pastors Adam and Olivia Aziz along with the Metro praise team, choir and band. The children's pastors Brian and Britti Raff and the Metro Kidz staff will ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Hating to Exercise, Loving To Have Exercised

More than 20 years ago, after my first trip to Europe where I walked for miles every day, I decided to continue my new habit by power-walking several times a week. Then, after my open-heart surgery in 2006, I resolved that if I came through the operation successfully, I would do everything my doctors recommended for recovery, including exercise. Ever since, I’ve been engaging ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Commission Votes 5-4 Against 34-Cent Property Tax Increase For The Schools

The County Commission voted 5-4 on Wednesday morning against a 34-cent property tax increase for the county schools. Opposed were Greg Martin, Randy Fairbanks, Chester Bankston, Tim Boyd and Sabrena Smedley. In favor were Chip Baker, Katherlyn Geter, Warren Mackey and David Sharpe. County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said the action means that none of the budget is approved ... (click for more)

Fire Heavily Damages Vacant Hixson Home Early Wednesday Afternoon

A fire heavily damaged a Hixson home early Wednesday afternoon. At 1:20 p.m., a neighbor called 911 reporting a house fire at 1833 Bay Hill Dr. The Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting heavy fire on the front door and porch area. Firefighters entered the front and back side of the home to find heavy fire downstairs and heavy smoke ... (click for more)


Beck Thanks Sheriff Hammond

I would like to take a moment to thank Sheriff Hammond and his patrol officers for their superb display of professionalism. Quick action in response to a request to the sheriff and his patrol division made family newcomers to our county delightfully surprised and comfortable. Our dad, James Crosby, made his transition on Father's Day and was laid to rest at Chattanooga National ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dakota’s Coming

Dakota Meyer, who on a day in September of 2011 defied battlefield orders to save the lives of over 30 soldiers who were pinned down in a brutal Afghanistan ambush, is coming to Chattanooga on July 12 on a very similar mission. The famed Marine sergeant, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroics, will be the headline speaker at the Sixth Annual America Heroes Dinner in ... (click for more)