“Go get your favorite horse!”
Out of the barn ran seven of Wild Ones Youth Ranch’s Wranglers, dispersing themselves out to various pastures to find the apples of their eyes. First to hit the deck were the teams of Claire and Loba, Sophie and Queenie, and Anna and Carmen. Each rider was full of a lot of enthusiasm and each horse with a little trepidation. Up came the next group: Hannah and Chico, Annelise and Luna, Laura and Koosah and, finally, Isabelle and Wiley.
As they were tacking up their horses, I played out a familiar scenario in my mind. What should I let these kids do? Their favorite horses are not necessarily the best horses for them to ride. Many of these horses are (because of the kids) heavy on the bit, quick-footed and prancy. Oh that I had a pasture full of Sahalies, Birdies and Daisys, but these horses were clearly not the same. Granted, we have been working feverishly this winter to ride, train, relax and soften them, but could the kids apply our strategies to riding? I thought about our kids and I thought about our horses; then I came to the conclusion that life is NOT full of Sahalies, Birdies and Daisys, and that sometime God gives us the Chicos to teach us patience, trust and yes, humility.
I decided that this would be a great object lesson for the kids. They would ride but they were only allowed to do what the horse and rider as a team was capable of doing correctly. Armed with a solid resolve and concerned about a negative reaction from the kids, I proceeded forward. Much to my surprise, I learned a little about love from them that morning. Not one of them was disappointed not to do more with their favorite friend and, in fact, they even would have been content just to sit on these horses. The wranglers were so happy just to have the opportunity to handle them that they could have gone home happy if they only got to groom. As they rode, they listened and carefully applied my instruction and gave every cue their all. Maybe it was because they had not been able to handle these horses for a few months, but still, I was blown away by their commitment to do whatever they needed to do to spend time with the horse they loved. By accepting their limitation they were able to enjoy their ride and consequently, I think the horses enjoyed their ride as well.
How many times in life do we want something so bad that we push ourselves beyond what we can our should do? Sometimes admitting our limitations and enjoying what we can do makes all the difference in the world. Then there is the love… the love that is the most significant in my life is the love of God through Jesus Christ. Am I as content to simply be in His presence and do I appreciate the small opportunities he provides for me? Am I committed to doing whatever the Lord sets before me and instead of wallowing in my limitations do I trust him to lead and instruct me? I pray that we all could grow in this area.
I thought I was giving the lessons that day! My kids didn’t know that they were the ones God was using to instruct me. Thanks, kids!