The Pony Express …

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”  (Romans 12:1, 2)

Something is to be said for knowing what’s involved in a project, a job, a purchase and certainly a relationship … before you sign the dotted line!

We all understand that certain sacrifices must be made in order for someone to be successful in whatever field of endeavor they pursue.  Perhaps this is one of the major reasons why so many fail or don’t excel.

The Lord has always wanted it to be understood upfront by those who were considering following and serving Him what that would mean in terms of life and living.  It is no different today.

Some time ago, I read something about the Pony Express, a private company that carried mail by an organized relay of horseback riders across our great country from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California.

Now the cost of someone sending a letter by Pony Express was $2.50 an ounce. If the weather and horses held out and the Indians held off, that letter would complete the entire two-thousand mile journey in a speedy ten days!

Being a rider for the Pony Express was a tough job.  You were expected to ride seventy-five to one hundred miles a day. A rider was supposed to be able to change horses every fifteen to twenty-five miles, but it didn’t always work out that way so they would at times ride on.

Other than the mail, the only baggage a rider carried contained a few provisions, including a kit of flour, cornmeal, and bacon.  In case of danger, a rider also had a medical pack of turpentine, borax, and cream of tartar.  In order to travel light and to increase their speed of mobility during Indian attacks … the men always rode in shirt-sleeves, even during the fierce winter weather.

So, how would this fabled organization recruit volunteers for this hazardous job?  An 1860 San Francisco newspaper printed the following ad for the Pony Express:  “Wanted:  Young skinny, wiry fellows not over 18.  Must be expert riders willing to risk (death) daily. Orphans preferred.”

These were the job requirements for someone looking to become a rider for the Pony Express!  Now, here is the interesting thing about all of this … they never had a shortage of riders.

Serving the Lord is not an act or even a series of acts for those only casually interested in serving the Lord!

Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?  Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:36-37)

Jesus uses the term “all” three times in His answer.  What Jesus is asking for of any one who is considering following Him to understand is this truth:  He wants, expects and yes, even requires full commitment.

The sacrifice required of those Pony Express riders of old is admirable.  The sacrifice God requires of His people even today is not up for discussion!  It is necessary to both demonstrate and to share the benefits of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

WANTED:  Individuals who will be willing to accept the following terms of service, “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24).

Bill Fairchild, Jr.



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