The Word: A slight touch of the spurs

Published 11:06 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Something I have wanted since I was a “kid” is spurs. My dad’s a HUGE fan of westerns, and ever since I was a small boy (which was a LONG time ago) I have wanted a set of nice, real, authentic spurs. To hear the sound of them clinking as you walk across the saloon floor…to use them like Wyatt Earp in Tombstone to cut the side of someones face when avenging my brothers death (ok…that was dark. I promise I won’t do this unless absolutely necessary). A slight touch of those spurs urged the horse to speed up, move to one side or the other, or even settle down. Spurs helped keep the horse focused on the rider and the task at hand.

I like the story told of the man who took his little child to see the circus.

The clowns came out and entertained perfectly as they always do. The last clown was a little fellow wearing a wonderful tall top hat. While he was bowing elaborately to a dignified woman, his hat fell off and an elephant sat on it. The clown gestured wildly at the elephant, but the beast sat still. He waved, shouted, tried to lift the elephant but the elephant never budged. Angrily the clown stepped behind the elephant and kicked with all his strength and then hopped away with a sore foot in his hands. Defeated and in complete despair, the clown sat down and started to eat some peanuts when the interested elephant got up, ambled over, and begged for some of the peanuts! The clown dropped the bag of peanuts and ran for his hat. Those peanuts, we could say, spurred the elephant along.

Now…how can we motivate each other…spur one another…on?

Hebrews 10:24 tells us: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” I really wish I had a pair of spurs. Sometimes we literally have to push folks into trying something different or new. We may know what direction is needed and we may feel we know what is best, but they just sit there. Who in your life needs a little help? Who do you know in your life who needs you to “spur them along”? Now, don’t go using the preachers words against him by literally getting spurs and kicking someone. There’s laws and rules against that mess. We can, however, strongly urge others to move along. Whether with spurs or peanuts (or ice cream) there is always a way to urge others in the right direction. Lord, help me spur my one along towards love and good deeds. In Jesus, amen.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at