It was eight years ago this month that the Rusty Goat came into being. I swear it was an accident, not premeditated nor a random item on my bucket list that I wished to fulfill. I was just a suddenly single, over the hill west Texas cowboy who had begun to venture out into the world of dating. I had set out to find the perfect woman, something I’d not managed to accomplish in the fifty something years I had been roaming this earth.
Being inexperienced with the dating game, I did the only thing I knew to do. I began searching for the perfect woman in, of all places, a bar. No, I never found her, but night after night I’d come home with a story to tell, not that there was anyone here to listen to it. So, at the suggestion of a friend or two, I began telling my weekly stories on the internet. And as they say, the rest was history.
It started out with a few hundred stopping by the Rusty Goat website every week, then as time passed, a few thousand became a few hundred thousand. I haven’t been keeping track, but I believe around .3.5 million folks stopped by my site last year to see what the fictitious Saturday night dancehall cowboy has been up to.
It’s true. I have held a thousand women or more out there on the dance floor, and I confess I enjoy sharing that with most anyone who will listen. But when the dust settled on the dance floor and the lights went out, I had not found the perfect woman, just lots of stories to tell. I gave it up…the boot scooting and the woman chasing, though not for the reason you would think. I enjoyed my freedom, much like a wild mustang on the open range. I cherished the adventures. I constantly made mental notes inside my little brain as yet another story took shape on another Saturday night. Perhaps I had long given up the idea of actually finding a woman. It was the search for another story that kept me going back.
The Good Lord had allowed me to flitter around all my life, living as I pleased, and I did without so much as a thought about where my life might eventually wind up. But there came a time right there in amongst the dancing that I began to feel a change working its way throughout my body and mind. My online following continued to grow and I began to realize that perhaps there was something more I should be sharing with the world besides my silly stories. Week after week as I typed one tale after another about one crazy woman or another, I felt I was sharing nothing more than empty words, yet I continued onward.
What happened next would take a book to tell in its entirety, but short and simple, stubbornly as I plunged forward, my Creator grew impatient with my reluctance to change my ways. So, He changed them for me.
I set out on a new adventure, walking in sunlight even on the cloudiest of days. I moved the radio dial from the country station to Christian contemporary. I started reading my Bible. I went to church every Sunday. And I prayed. It never occurred to me to pray for myself so I prayed for others who needed God’s attention the most. I didn’t know if my prayers were working or not, I didn’t ask the people I prayed for if they’d noticed a change in their lives…seemed an odd thing to do. Then one night I did something different. I prayed for myself, as selfish as it seemed at the time. And things started happening…good things.
I sit here eight years later and ponder the thought that I’d never imagined myself being where I’m at today. I never thought I’d write a book or four. I never thought I’d ever see a day that I wasn’t in debt, yet today I owe no man on this planet a dime. Well, I did get the electric bill in the mail today, but that’s about the extent of my obligations. I never imagined a time would come when I didn’t have to get out of bed and go to work. I still do, but it’s because I lack good sense. I never thought I’d live a day without stress or worry, but since I gave all that to the Lord, I don’t fret much. Unless I break my e-cigarette right at bedtime and have to suffer until the next day. Come to think of it, I never thought I’d ever give up smoking…or drinking. Never was much of a drinker though. Most of all, I never imagined that a day would come when I’d have the privilege of being a full-time single father. It is perhaps the biggest blessing I’ve received in my entire life. God put the perfect little woman in my life…my daughter. What more could possibly be just around the next bend in the road?
So, what are you waiting on? Say a prayer. Say it for yourself and see what happens in your life!