8 seconds of Faith the rodeo comes to Rhea County Fair

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Rodeo clown Colt 45 pauses for prayer before Rodeo at Rhea County Fair in Evensville, Tennessee.(Photo:LeahO'Neill)

Hedrick Rodeo brings unique perspective to faith

August 24, 2017

Evensville TN —  8 seconds of faith is a strong title I know, but give me a chance to explain.  On August 11 and 12, the Hedrick Family Rodeo came to town. I have seen a few rodeos in my time, but I have never really gave them any thought.  I always took for granted that this was a bunch of thrill-seekers, and that with modern regulations it was not dangerous any more, so it was all for show.

But for once I took the time to talk to people who work the rodeo as well as Danny Hedrick. the owner.  I am a woman who can admit when she is wrong.  This is going to be one of those times.  I was wrong about the rodeo.  The men and women who perform are not mere thrill-seekers, and the rodeo is very dangerous.

I want to share with you an amazing realization when I interviewed the clowns, the riders, the announcer, and a couple of the wives who do not perform in the rodeo as well as the owner and the minister.  They are a family and they live their faith.  I am not saying that all rodeo riders have a certain faith, but I am saying that everyone I interviewed said the same thing.  You have to have faith to ride.

Most of us talk about living some sort of faith, but as one individual put it.  We live 8 seconds of faith at a time.  For mere seconds the riders, clowns, and family members have to have the faith that their loved one will come out of the arena.  The individuals I spoke to all talk about being Christians, and how they have to trust God, and trust themselves to go into the arena time after time.  One wife said that she has to trust her husband to do what he knows is right, and trust that God will bring him out every time he fights a bull.

During one of the sermons that Randy Dodge of Randy Dodge Cowboy Ministries gave before the rodeo(he gives one before each performance), he spoke of riding the bull, and how this is a lot like living the faith.  We have to get on, and take it 8 seconds at a time.

I could go on and on about how Hedrick Rodeo can inspire faith, but I want to also give y’all up and coming rodeo riders some sage advice from Colt 45 and Danny Hedrick.  Mr. Hedrick was a cowboy from birth.  He has been rodeo riding for many years, and his children are performers.  Even with all his knowledge he gives this little bit of advice: “Go to school.”  On the weekends there is a school for rodeo performing.  He says go and learn the right way from great teachers.  Colt 45 the clown who makes a living giving Rodeo attenders a good laugh says, “Follow your dreams they will come true.  All you have to do is work hard.”

This may not have been the article you expected about the Rodeo, but I thank you for taking the time to read it.  Y’all come back now.

Leah O’Neill

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