Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)
A few months ago, a friend asked me if her teenage son could come over and learn about horses from me. It would fulfill a dream of his. I was hesitant, not only because I was concerned about sharing my horse, but also because of the time involved. I didn’t want to commit to weekly lessons with my own growing “to do list”. But, I agreed to give it a try so he comes each Sunday afternoon to learn about feeding, grooming and riding. He learned the names for the tack, how they go on and is thrilled to be boosted up on Trucker’s back for a walk around the pasture. Despite how much he enjoys it, I was still pretty grumpy to “have” to give up my Sunday afternoons to teach him. One Sunday, I was grumbling about it to God when I clearly heard Him speak, “Why did you think this would be easy? There is so much more going on here than you know. This is more than a boy coming over to ride. There are spiritual lessons taking place here.” After that, I went out with more willingness and I mark that point as a change not only in my attitude but in Trucker’s. Prior to that, Trucker was resistant to a new rider, but in the next few weeks, I saw him begin to submit to someone else’s hand, to be obedient and to take direction. The two began working together as a team. The boy doesn’t fight for control. The horse willingly listens, even appears to enjoy their work together. They have made much progress. In the last few weeks, there has been a huge breakthrough. Beyond the trotting and weaving around obstacles. Beyond the willingness to pick his foot up to have his hooves cleaned. Trucker is learning to trust the boy and it shows when he turns his back on the barn, away from his friends who sometimes call to him and away from his feed bucket. Under the boy’s commands, he walks to the front fence out of sight of the barn and earshot of his friends. There is such significance to me in seeing Trucker’s large round butt topped by that young man moving forward away from all that comforts my horse. Trucker has learned that being obedient, sometimes, most times, means leaving one life behind and moving confidently into the next knowing that everything will be okay because he can trust the one who holds the reins. One of the things that has been on my mind since being diagnosed with MS is what will happen to my horse if I can no longer care for him or ride him. Navigating the sand to get to the barn, lifting bales of hay and carrying feed and water buckets could at some point be difficult. I think this growing relationship between Trucker and his boy is God’s way of showing me not to worry. Just go where He takes me.