Saturday, November 07, 2009

Horsing Around on the Prairie...

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These horses were in the pasture out by the Holy Family Shrine, where I used to volunteer. One blustery day, on my way to the Shrine, they were near the road so I grabbed my camera and one even took a roll on the snow. I decided the collection would make a nice collage.

Ever since I was a wee one in Louisiana, then Michigan and then on the Nebraska Plains, I have loved horses. I even finally had my heart's desire come true. My dream to have a horse of my own was given to me by my dear step dad. In the summer of 1971 I got a horse, a gelding, named Tonka. He was a beautiful chocolate brown Arabian appaloosa. Unfortunately, that was the summer I was gone for 7 weeks to California to visit my dad, and wasn't there to ride him. He started acting up for my step dad, too, and he took him somewhere to "break" him more. I was so sad to find out, because to me, he'd even become more headstrong.

Tonka started to nip at my feet when I rode him and would even lie down when my best friend, Alice, would come over and try to ride him. He was 4 years old and I only had him for 6 months. I was heart broken to say "goodbye," but at the same time, I was so hurt that he didn't seem to like me all that much, when all I wanted to do was love him and care for him. We never made that "connection" I so craved, like I'd seen on the tv shows I loved as a little girl: "Fury" and "My Friend Flicka." Oh well. I did have him for a while . I don't think it was Tonka's fault, we just didn't know how to handle him. If only we'd have known a 'horse whisperer.'

Now that I'm writing about this "equine summer" memory, I see the significance when Jesus says "I never knew you." The importance of 'knowing' someone, or the sad reality when you choose not to know someone. The evangelicals who "choose" not to "know Mary" deprive themselves of a deeper love for Jesus. I tried to know Tonka and loved him but he only "shunned" me. Jesus, likewise, only wants to love us and care for us, but we're more like Tonka, independent, stubborn, 'bratty' at times. He's constantly reaching out, and we 'nip' at him, and lie down when He would like us to 'get up and go.' We don't spend as much time with Jesus as we might with our friends, tv's, or hobbies. Friendship takes time to flourish. We don't know how much he loves us, and wants the best for us, because we balk and even "walk backwards" (the other trick Tonka had in his bag.) We think we know better than Jesus and end up somewhere else where we might be fed something, but not really nourished with the best, most complete Food.

Ok, the anology might not be the best, but you get the idea. If we're like Tonka, kind of bratty, God won't 'send us away' necessarily, but we'll end up 'sending ourselves' away. That's up to us. Tonka, being a horse, couldn't really comprehend it. But we're different. We're given 'reason' and 'faith' and they go together like a hand & glove. If we are 'hard of heart' stubborn and proud, we won't be lifted up to the "better things" Jesus has for us. We might very well be 'cast into outter darkness' in the end, if we don't humble ourselves with contrite hearts. But if we're grateful, humble, child-like and docile, we'll be raised up on the Last Day to our heavenly home. But we have to be "small," not self-important, prideful, or self-absorbed. We have to spend time with our "Master," who's also our very Best Friend. If we are like children, trusting always in His Mercy, we'll be fine.
Don't be like the horse who needs a bridle and bit.
Trust in Him, learn of Him and be "ONE" with Him.

God created a fine masterpiece when he made horses. They're so powerful, so graceful, so fun to see galloping across the prairie, or in a steeple chase or the Derby/Belmont or in rodeos where they really 'know their work.' I still would love a horse...maybe someday, I'll get to ride with Jesus on his majestic white one...?

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