What is your childhood dream? Is it to be a racecar driver, an astronaut, a firefighter, or perhaps even a superhero? There was a boy, born on a day of true significance, marked with severe thunder storms, a day that brought new life into the world. The boy spent his early childhood adventuring in the fields of his great-grandmothers land and feeling the wind upon his cheek, guiding him. This is the land upon which a great inspiration and a faith-based core took root in the life of the young boy who is none other than myself.
For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed of being a lonesome cowboy. I was born and raised in “the yellow city”, or more commonly known as Amarillo, Texas. I am very proud to say that I am a native Texan, but before anything else, I am a Christian man of very strong faith. Throughout my life, I have often found myself lost; lost in spirit, lost in direction, simply gone with the wind. I believe the wind is powerful because it has no image, yet the effects of the wind are quite easy to observe just like the works of God through the Holy Spirit.
Faith is a sacred treasure; from an early age I have been taught to keep my faith alive, it is the very reason I am here to share my story. I want to make it very clear that I believe in God. I believe we are all called to greatness, called to explore the creations of our most high King, and just like a leaf caught in the breeze on a nice spring day, I have allowed my spirit to run free like a wild horse, free as the wind in Amarillo.
Over the course of the last months, my life has drastically changed in a positive direction. I am extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Texas Slim. He is a legend and I am grateful to be able to apprentice under him. Over the last five months, his mentorship has really helped me to grow as a person mentally, spiritually, and physically. Let me explain; I have been able to challenge myself with new workouts in the gym, I have been rediscovering my early childhood, and most importantly I have been forging a new path with God and His Grace.
As a child, I am proud to say that I was always (and continue to be) a very adventurous kid who loved to explore the world around me, test my limits, and let my imagination run free and wild with the wind. A specific time when my adventurous spirit got the better of me was when I was with my cousin on a summer afternoon braving the dry lands, adventuring out into the land that someday could possibly be ours to share, when all of a sudden, I lost my balance and fell causing me to land on a cactus which we had previously removed from our path. I didn’t realize it at first, but once I looked down, I saw nothing but pricks completely covering the palm of my hand. I was very cautious about telling my parents because my mother had warned us about the potential threat that chopping down a cactus with a wooden club might cause.
Eventually, my exploratory days at my Grandmas’ farm ceased after her passing. It marked a sad day for my family. Many months later we found out that my Uncle had manipulated my Grandma to sign over her land entirely to him. It was a place that I had felt free in, the memories I had built there would last me a lifetime. This was a place I could have potentially called home and yet I had been robbed of that chance. Now, as a young adult I realize the wrong that had been done by his actions. But, I am grateful to him. As malicious as his acts were, he planted something in me. This something is what Texas Slim speaks about on a consistent basis. The Source of the Seed.
My uncle planted the source of the seed in my heart; he inspired me to get back to my roots. And on January 19, 2022, is a day when it sparked within me that I will remember for the rest of my life. I was listening to Texas Slims Vision, the podcast hosted by Texas Slim, when I heard about a farm that had just recently opened up in town. Right away I reached out to the farmer, Justin (podcast episode here) and asked if I would be able to work for him. He quickly responded and invited me to take a tour of the place. The next day, I went up to the facility to meet the farmer who took me under his wing and I was very pleased with what I saw. I saw a new beginning, a potential future, and most importantly I saw hope.
I went home that day with pure joy, I could not believe that after all these years, I would finally be able to live my dream. I knew from that day, that I had found what I had been unknowingly searching for. I found an old piece of me, patiently waiting to be rediscovered. The feeling was one like no other, I knew right away that I wanted to work there and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity, but I was unaware of the experiences yet to come. My first day on the job, I was fortunate enough to witness the process of the early stages of meat processing. I had just arrived on scene and was walking with my manager, when we stepped outside and 15 yards in front of me was a New Mexico Dahl Sheep, who wasn’t very excited to be the chosen one.
I saw firsthand what it is like to wrangle a stubborn sheep onto the scale to me weighed. Before they were able to get the sheep properly measured, it somehow found its way loose for about 5 seconds before my boss was able to regain control of the runaway sheep by rearing it back into its pen. I will admit that my first time being in this situation, I was not a brave farm hand who stepped up to the plate and attempted to get hold of the ferocious sheep myself. My flight or fight instinct kicked in and I decided that I was not going to be the next victim of a sheep attack (In all actuality, the sheep was just a bit timid and I was a being huge sissy). Without thinking, I swiftly jumped onto the metal rails surrounding me in an attempt to save myself of the havoc that I thought was about to be produced. I quickly learned that I had no reason to be scared of the sheep, and that I was lucky nobody had seen because I probably would not have heard the end of it.
Once the sheep had been weighed, it was taken to another pen. Had I blinked at the wrong second, I would have missed the kill. The sheep did not suffer a long inhumane death, rather it was instant. Although it may be a bit sad, it is crucial for life. I learned a lot that day, I gained a new sense of appreciation for food, and I gained an attitude of gratitude which I was able to carry over into other parts of my life.
Being able to see how the meat that I choose to put into my body becomes available to me, really humbled me. I learned that farmers and ranchers are always having to bust their rears to put food on the market, so that people like me can put food on the table and into my belly. I am more confident than ever, that fueling my body with animal-based protein is the way to go and I highly encourage anyone who may be listening to reach out to a local farmer/rancher and source their protein, just as I have.
Working on the farm has inspired me to pursue my childhood dreams to their full extent. I encourage people to follow their dreams, no matter how big they may be. There’s a person inside of all of us, who just wants to be set free, who wants to be remembered before they are forgotten. Be the change you want to see in the world and don’t let anyone discourage you from chasing your dreams. Dream big and persevere, become more in touch with your community and live your life as abundantly as can be. Put fear behind you and take that leap of faith, there’s no guarantee that we will see tomorrow, so let today be the day that you make a change. Lean into your faith and abandon fear.