I am SO not a horseback rider, though I love to try every now and then. Eddie and I went for a trail ride in the Pocono Mountains and I rode an older, brown horse named Jerry. Like most trail horses, Jerry followed the guide in front of him with minimal direction. I thought it was odd though, that Jerry kept veering around the particularly rocky parts of the trail. I am no expert, but I thought maybe the rocks were uncomfortable for his feet, so I let him veer occasionally.
But my heart stopped several times when Jerry stumbled and tripped. Some stumbles were so bad, that I spoke up and told the guide, worried that poor old Jerry may actually go down. The guide didn't seem concerned at all. He told me, "Just keep him on the trail."
It dawned on me that perhaps Jerry thought he was making things easier on his feet by veering around the trail, but really he was tripping himself up on his own feet, making things more complicated. After that, I was much more strict with the reins, and no longer gave Jerry the option of wandering from side to side. He may have been a little confused at first. After all, he had done this trail a million times and probably never had a rider be very active with the reins, but eventually, he stuck to the straight and narrow.
How often I think I know everything about where I'm going and what I'm doing. I'm in control. I'm the boss of me. What harm can their be, should I occasionally wander from left to right? I'm on the general path, aren't I? All the while, not realizing that I'm causing more trouble for myself, tripping my own selfish self up. And then I'm surprised when I stumble! What a reminder, not to fight the reins, gently guided by the Master. He knows best. Not me.
"LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps." ~Jeremiah 10:23
|Left: Eddie and Ace, Right: myself and Jerry|