Thanks to Dr. Robert Plummer for this analogy.
Most of the time when you start studying a passage of Scripture to teach or preach, you think it’s going a certain place or making a certain point. But then after a while you realize the text is going a different place you thought it would. This is a crucial moment in preparation. This is when you decide whether or not you want to try to make the text say what you want it to say, or whether or not you’re going to go wherever it takes you.
At that moment, you have to decide if you’re going to ride the bull.
The bull is powerful and will take you places. It’s scary, but thrilling at the same time. In this kind of Bible preparation, you’re not leading the study as much as you’re trying to hang on for dear life!
You could decide you don’t want to ride the bull. But that’s really boring and doesn’t do the text justice. In fact, that’s a huge problem! But consider what you’re missing out on if you don’t stay with the text as it takes you where you should go. Adventure. Truth. Power.
The next time you and I both come to the point of decision where we realize a text is going somewhere different than we expected, we’ve got to decide: will we ride the bull?