Riding on a Ton, Believing in The Son
By Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club
In the words of Wiley Peterson, professional bull rider:
“I bugged my mom enough, that finally she gave in and let me enter this little junior rodeo.”
“Everybody was kind of cheering me on.”
“I nodded my head and they opened the gate and a few jumps later, I was in the middle of the arena on my butt going, ‘What happened? Did I ride him?’”
“You could definitely say I caught something. I fell in love with the sport of bull riding and my life has never been the same.”
After ten years of riding tons of bulls, professional bull rider Wiley Peterson has won his share of championships, and taken his share of punishment. But he’s matter-of-fact about why he keeps doing what he does.
“I feel like God has called me to do this to glorify His name and share His love with people.”
“If I make this all about me, I’m going to lose steam pretty quick. But when I make it about God and His purpose and His plan, and I’m just looking forward to what He’s going to do, then it’s fresh and new every day.”
“I thank God everyday to let me realize that and know Him.”
Wiley grew up in the small town of Fort Hall, Idaho. He fell into the same traps many high school boys do.
“Typical stuff, partying a little and chasing girls; and I was realizing that it was fun for a minute, then a moment, and then it was over. Then I was like, ‘there’s got to be more to this.’ When I heard the gospel, when I heard about Jesus and his love for me, it just hit. God spoke to me and got a hold of my heart, and I realized that Jesus is the only thing that lasts and the only thing that is going to fulfill me.”
After graduating from college, Wiley got his shot at the pros in 1999. By 2003, he was ranked number three bull rider in the world.
Most weekends Wiley travels to bull riding events. When he’s home, he’s with family. In fact, his most memorable moment wasn’t winning a world ranking but attending a church service with his grandfather and uncle.
“They came to Christ. They put their faith in Jesus. My grandpa has been kind of my hero. To see him put his faith in Christ, and to be a part of that, that was a highlight for me. “
“If I had to look back, with all the buckles and the money and everything else, I’d give it all back. We’re not taking anything except the relationships that we have, and we can’t take anything but people with us to heaven. So to me that’s saying, hopefully, we’re loading the wagon and getting them all up there.”
Wiley continues his pursuit to glorify God in the world of professional bull riding. His beginnings were humble but his future is in good hands.
“With God all things are possible. You take a kid from Fort Hall, Idaho, and when God jumps in his life, and when you work hard, and take a step, and trust God and go for it, you’ll be surprised by what can happen.”
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