Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail

Pretty Close

July 28, 2023 Stephen Bly
Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail
Pretty Close
Show Notes Transcript

WESTERN WISDOM "Pretty Close" audio podcast by award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Sponsored by Legacy Series.  

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Stephen Bly
Circa 1996 

Me and the missus were watching an old western movie on TV. Well, I was watching it and she was reading a magazine and pretending to sneak peeks with as much enthusiasm as I’d have watching an Opera.  

I groaned pretty loud in disgust and she asked me, “What’s wrong?”

“They’ve been looking for a Sabina calf for most the movie and when they find it, they run a Hereford through the scene.”

“Well, what’s wrong with that?”

“It’s the wrong calf. A Sabina calf is red and white s quatched coloring. Look at that animal. It’s a Hereford.”

“Oh, well,“ she replied. “A calf’s a calf. It looks close enough to me.”

That’s when I jumped to my feet and began to lecture. “You know, that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country and what’s wrong with our churches and what’s wrong with our families.”

She looked up at me with the same expression as a youth sitting in the lobby of a dentist office wishing there was a way to get up and get out the door. “We’re too satisfied with being close,” I continued. “The newspaper reports things pretty close to the truth. The politicians are satisfied if they’re pretty close to keeping their promises. Some churches have their doctrine and theology pretty close to a biblical standard. Husbands and wives figure if they’ve come pretty close to being faithful with each other, that’s sufficient. Well, God doesn’t ask us to be pretty close. We are to be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 

“Well, I’m sure you’re right,” my wife replied. “But that’s a high standard.”

“That’s the point,” I shouted. “Once the standard is lowered to being pretty close, then people become satisfied to being pretty close to pretty close. The next thing you know we’ll be happy to being pretty close to pretty close to pretty close. True satisfaction will come when we do it exactly right. Why, if they made movies as sloppy as most people live their spiritual lives, they’d be happy to run a pig across the screen and call it a Sabina calf.” 

My wife sat silent for several moments. 

“Aren’t you going to say anything?” I asked.

“Oh,” she replied. “I think there’s an Opera on Channel 12.” 


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