The air is cold, and darkness has settled upon the farm. The horses are groomed and tacked, stomping the ground eagerly anticipating their turn to be worked. The weather here has not been conducive for riding for quite some time and I am oh so thankful for the chance to get back in the saddle.
First up is my young wild one. Consistency is the key to taming the young horse, and consistency is the one thing we have not had as of late. I grit my teeth and force myself to ignore his nastiness and focus on quietness. The goal: get him to focus on me, ask a few things, and then get off. Keep it simple, stay focused, and do not get frustrated. Remember that he doesn't understand and be patient.
Next up is the old one, the beloved friend. She is so excited to be the recipient of my attention. I slip in the saddle and just soak in the familiarity of her gait. No goals in mind but to enjoy the time in the saddle.
The last ride of the night is on the resident schoolmaster, the one who teaches me. The goal for the evening is to work on my seat, to remind my body the things it had learned last month when riding was consistent. Fact: it is impossible for one to focus on one's position when horse is in rebellious frame of mind. And so the evening ended on a sore note, a heavily anticipated night turned into complete frustration.
It's Sunday morning, horses are feed, dog let out, and finally I slip into the car. The drive towards that place where it's all about Him. Yet my mind is still on last night. On that frustrating ride with that rebellious horse. I mutter aloud to the One who hears all.... "What went wrong?" O how sweet it is to commune with Him.
Looking back, had I known where He was going I might never have asked.... good thing only He knows where all conversations lead.
I think back through the ride and realize why the ride frustrated me so,the horse was rebellious. He should of been light and soft, accepting the bit with no resistance, thus making his body submissive to my direction. he wasn't. He even went beyond ignoring the instruction. He argued and yanked on my hands, loudly disagreeing with what I asked of him. He even took to racing around at a high rate of speed in order to evade any instruction. And all because he knows what will happen when he listens, he knows that being light and soft will give me all the control. And last night he wanted to remain in control.
Hmmmmm.....do you realize, my dear one, that you have been acting just like that horse?
You have resisted being soft because you know that it will give Me all the control. Your not like your young one, you know what is expected and you know how be soft. Your like the old schoolmaster who knows how to act, who knows what is expected of him. And last night his attitude was the same as yours has been towards me.
My eyes glisten with tears because I know He is right. I know how to walk close to Him, I know how to be soft. Lately I have resisted. I have yanked on the the hands of the One who knows what is best for me. I have strained to go in the opposite direction and desperately fought to take control. I have not wanted to be submissive to Him.
I bow my head and beg for His forgiveness... after all..... I know better.
Today I am thankful for a God who never gets frustrated with me
For a God who never loses His patience
For His forgiveness that is deeper then the ocean
For grace.... unending grace
For a friend who shares that she too is struggling with a fear
For a book, on its way, that is eagerly anticipated
For a new community of sisters in the form of a book club
That His mercies are new EVERY morning
For His willingness to meet me where I am
For illustrations that reach to the deepest level
For horses and their Creator who uses them to teach me
For that old schoolmaster who has taught me a much needed lesson