Lessons From Horse Riders
Horse riders provide Carol Harrison with the inspiration for her latest post about faith. Carol reminds us of our need to “fix our eyes” on Jesus.
The wind gusts reached 60 km an hour. Dust swirled in and around the edges of the dirt dressage ring. Leaves rustled and bushes swayed. Cars whizzed past and often appeared to come right out of the bushes at the edge of the property and on the other side of the property line fence. Large, lettered cones which marked the course blew down and the wind whistled in them. Some horses spooked at the wind, the blowing dust and as the cones fell down. Riders had an extra struggle to keep the horses moving forward, finishing the dressage show test with worse results than they hoped for.
I watched the reactions of horses and riders as I huddled into a warmer jacket and tried not to eat too much dirt. I cheered as riders stayed seated, took control and let their horses and ponies know the wind would not hurt them that day. They finished the course with a smile, sometimes forced, on their faces and tried again another day.
My Youngest Daughter
My youngest daughter rode a dressage show test that day on a patient horse named Dixie, who never spooked but never went her usual speed either. Dixie balked at continuing around the ring. She wanted to stand beside the coach, her owner, who called out the steps expected for the rider and horse to accomplish. It took a firm hand, a kick in the side and never giving up for Amee to get her moving again and finish the course.
They exited the ring to watch a fellow team mate ride. Dixie stood contentedly resting after her time in the ring. This accomplished team mate’s pony spooked as a letter cone fell over. Every time she needed to go past that spot she balked a bit, afraid of what might happen based on past circumstances. Yet her rider guided her through the rest of the course and then went to the practise ring and worked until her skittishness left.
Lessons From Riders
Later I thought about lessons from these riders and how they can apply to any life. Our lives end up with puzzle pieces that scare us. The winds of adversity howl around us, throw hardships in our way and cause us to become nervous, fearful, worried, anxious and fighting moving forward in the course set out for us.
We might be like Dixie and halt where we think our comfort zone happens to be. We might be like the other horse and spook at possibilities to come based on a past frightening situation. We might feel like the riders who did poorer than they expected or had to work extra hard just to complete the task assigned to them at that moment, on that course. We might want to quit even though we know we should keep moving.
Distractions From Our Goals
In Hebrews 12: 1, 2 (NIV) we read, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance, the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
The horses and riders did not race that day but they had a dressage show test- a course- set out for them to complete and standards of excellence to meet. They needed to not allow the wind, dust and rustling leaves to distract them from their goal. It took hard work, determination and reliance on training and trust between the rider and horse to complete the course.
Fix Our Eyes on Jesus
In life we have so many things that pull our attention away from God, from the tasks he calls us to do and from time spent with him. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus, trust the relationship and allow him to guide us through the storms of life and the calm moments too.
The horses at the windy dressage show ring had riders of various levels of experience guiding them through the course that day, trying to help them continue or keep moving. Some horses and riders worked together more often and for a longer period of time. They had a different level of companionship. The horses sensed their owners control over the situation and they knew the rider’s needs too. Dixie seemed to sense Amee needed her to stay calm in spite of the storm brewing around them because of Amee’s disabilities.
Trust God With Our Lives
In life, we can trust God with our lives Hebrews 10:23 (NIV) says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.” I Thessalonians 5: 24 (NIV) says, “the one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
Those storm filled puzzle pieces of life happen to everyone at some point in time. They hurt. They are not easy to deal with and we would rather they did not need to be part of our life’s picture. I learned lessons from watching horses and riders on a stormy day that they wished was not happening either. I need to choose to follow Jesus, trust him to guide me through life and not trust in my perceptions. The closer a relationship I have with God, the easier I can hear him speak over the storms of life and it’s available for everyone.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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