That he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Ephesians 1:8-10 (NIV)
Another trail ride I look forward to each year is the Mystery Ride at Little Manatee State Park. Following a map, we ride along the park trails encountering obstacles to go through. Not only do we learn new routes through the park, but it is good for our horses to be challenged. They develop confidence and become better on the trail. The one thing we do not like is getting into a crowd because we have to wait as riders coax their horses to try new things. It gets embarrassing when your horse does not cooperate as other riders call out suggestions to make him mind. This year, we also had a deadline as Andrea had something she had to do in the afternoon. We planned carefully, arriving an hour after the ride started thinking that the largest groups would already be on the trail and we could bring up the rear. Unfortunately, the ride started late. After analyzing the situation and counting how many riders were ahead of us to start the course, Andrea and I came up with a plan. We would do the ride backwards! That would keep us out of the crowd so that we could ride faster and have more time to work with our horses. Of course, we would not be eligible for any prizes as we would not have a timed start, but we did not care about that anyway. Our goal was to enjoy the day and get a little training in while we were at it. So off we went ignoring everyone’s attempts to get our attention and send us to the starting gate. We managed to find the last obstacle and after some difficulty each shot an arrow from a bow while on horseback. The theme was Robin Hood so all activities revolved around that tale. We did such things as walk under an archway as though entering a prison, pick up a letter from Robin and deliver it to Maid Marion, find a packet of “gold,” and ride through a maze. The whole time we rode, we encountered people following the map. They all pointed out that we were going the wrong way. When we explained over and over that we were deliberately riding backwards, we were met with shrugs, stares and shaking of the head. They may have thought it odd, but we were having a good time and in our own why. We were glad that we decided to be different. When we walk through the Christian life, we often meet people who do not understand the choices we make or the way that we go. Sometimes, we do not understand it ourselves. God may call us to do something that makes no sense at all. Yet, if we are obedient we go where He sends us. Someday, when Christ comes again, the mystery will be revealed. Until then, even if it looks to others are you are headed the wrong way, keep walking!