You could do things the easy way. Or you could do things the cowboy way.
That’s what the ex-NPR, ex-CBS, ex-Disney Western music and comedy group Riders in the Sky has frequently said.
They could have been referring to Landis Hooks. He is a man who showed how to do things the cowboy way.
Hooks’ bull rider son, Cody, was knocked unconscious when thrown from a bull within perhaps 3 seconds after leaving the gate during a Feb. 12 rodeo at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, Texas.
With the 18-year-old lying on the ground, the angry bull continued another 25 to 30 feet and began spinning. Except for feigning a charge at one of them, the bull ignored the rodeo clowns, whose job is to distract bulls to allow downed riders to escape to safety.
With the bull out of control and his son lying helpless, Hooks quickly responded. He bolted out of the gate to check on Cody.
Then, as the bull moved toward them and began to charge, Hooks threw his body over his son just before the bull lowered its head and struck both of them. The father’s right shoulder apparently took most of the force.
Dad of the year ! #rodeo
— KenCarter (@KenKarterx) February 16, 2022
An unconfirmed account of the incident on Facebook said the younger Hooks was able to get up and walk out of the arena.
After the event, Cody posted on Instagram: “Not one to post falling off, but big thanks to my dad Landis Hooks and the bullfighters last night in Belton, Texas, could’ve been a hella lot worse.”
Hooks did it as a dedicated father, bringing to mind true sacrifice.
In John 15:13, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Which brings to mind God’s great sacrifice for us, as his son faced something much worse than a charging bull.
Landis Hooks surely had no lofty thoughts when he went out to check on his son. He did what any father would do: make sure his boy was all right.
And Hooks then had just one thought when the bull came his way — shield his son from the big animal with the only thing he could, his own body.
Dad did it the cowboy way — and with a real demonstration of what love is about.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.