My escape to Paradise included a horseback ride across the island and on the beach. It all began with a short course from the horse whisper-Linda. Who knew there were different schools of philosophy as to how a horse should be trained?
If you look closely at the horse above, you will notice there is no bit in his mouth. All the directions were given by the ropes being moved, a squeeze of your thighs, and a gentle foot reminder. Linda tells us the horse is planning his agenda 2-3 moves in advance. Therefore the rider needs to be planning in advance as well. Sounds a great deal like horse chess to me.
When we rode horses, while in Palo Duro during November, the game was entirely different.
The cowboys in Texas believe in bits in the mouth and honestly, the horses had not much choice but to follow the leader since we were on narrow canyon trails. Our gracious God has no bit in our mouth and we are given full rein to travel along the trail.
It seems that horses are quite intelligent and tend to be willful--unless you take charge. My intent is to ride the trail without falling off--the horses intent was to grab the nearest palm frond and eat it. My intent was to ride in the deepest water possible--the horse thought this too much effort on his part and just wanted to get back on the beach. So we struggled the entire ride with a battle of wills. He only became cooperative when we spotted the barn on the way back. He was headed one way while I looked another most of the ride.
And so goes life! We are willfully headed in one direction---probably without much planning and certainly not 2-3 moves in advance. Our gracious God has no bit in our mouth and we are given full rein to travel along the trail. BUT GOD--has it all planned out for us---not a mere 2-3 moves at a time--but the entire kit and caboodle all mapped out.
But here we go--headed for the next thing which WE THINK will satisfy us---the next house, the next car, the next piece of jewelry, the next spouse,---on and on we go--trying to satisfy the unquenchable appetite for the world. We no sooner grab one thing than we discover we are still not satisfied--so we reach for the next. Pretty soon we are so far off the trail God has mapped for us that we are not sure the way back.
THEN we allow God to take the reins once again and with a loving coaxing and a gentle shove---He leads us back to His path. The truth of the matter is---His path was always the best path---sadly our willful cravings cause us to loose sight of the truth as we take the reins and head our merry way.
Thus we have the story of the Prodigal son or daughter---or horse. I am thankful for a God of great patience and love--always leading me back to the path.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
II Peter 3:9