Gina Caswell Kelly
I really like Sam Elliott. He has that voice that is so recognizable. He just looks and sounds the way you think an old west cowboy ought to look and sound. He has been in some really great westerns down through the years. One of my favorites is Conagher.
In Conagher, he is a drifter cowboy and signs on with a ranch to work for a crusty old rancher named Seaborn Tay. As the movie progresses, there is a war between the ranches and a cowboy from another ranch tries to recruit Conagher (Sam Elliott) to work with them. And Conagher drawls out a line that just stays with you. He says, “I ride for the brand.” That is all. Just that one sentence lets you know so much about this man Conagher. He could not be bought. He could not be coerced. He signed on. He shook hands and his loyalty was set. He rode for the brand.
This line, displayed in our own lives, could make such a difference in our world. We watch our kids compete in school. They wear the school colors. They give everything they have got. They ride for the brand.
In our country, we have watched over a million men and women lose their lives in war, from the Civil War until today. Men and women who rode for the brand, no matter the cost. What a difference they have made for us.
As Christians, we should do no less than ride for the brand. Jesus Christ died on a cruel cross for your sins and mine. As Christians, we wear His Name. I get up each day wearing the name of Christian. I have that big old C on my letter jacket, as a Christian. But, how many times during the day do I drop that jacket to the side? How many times during the day, do I let someone try to coerce me into stepping off “the ranch” let’s say, and hiding my brand?
We have to ride for the brand, as Christians. We have to stand up for what we believe. We are called to be different. We are called to live in this world as a light. We are not supposed to blend in. We are supposed to be different. We are supposed to live lives that draw others in. That makes others want what we have. Our brand is supposed to show vividly and brightly, so that the devil has no power to “cut us from the herd.”
Are you riding for the brand? As Jesus says in the Bible,“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13)
If you have lost your salt as a Christian, or have lost your desire to ride for the brand, what kind of impact will you have on this world around us that is dying without Christ? Oh my goodness! I want to ride for the brand for Jesus with every breath I take! How about you?
Are you riding for the brand? It will make a difference!