Back in seventh grade my parents decided to get me a horse. We drove all over the place looking at all sorts of horses advertised as being great but arrived only to find they were too old, too fat, lame or just wanted to reach around and bite me foot every chance they got.
We finally arrived at a farm that had the most beautiful young quarter horse and I knew that was going to be my horse.
There was one issue though, he was only green broke. Basically, you could get on the saddle and control him a little but he didn’t neck rein well and still had lots to learn. Dad agreed with me though and we (meaning I wanted the horse and dad paid for it) bought that semi-wild horse.
His name on the paperwork was Bid Cee Red and I just called him Red. He really was a red horse and I thought his coat was the most beautiful color there was. We had him brought to our house and dad rode him a little to teach him some stuff and I rode him a lot.
For the first month, when I would first saddle him up and hop on I got the most unique view of the ground as he would tuck his head and kick his back feet up in the air trying to throw me. He tried to toss me off a lot of times but I stuck like glue in that saddle until he would settle down and then the riding began.
I had several friends that would ride with me and we traveled all over the farms around my house. Walking the trails through the woods and the paths around the fields was nice but I really enjoyed the running. It was even more fun when there were four or five horses running.
Their hooves pounding the ground filled my ears as the wind blew in my face. My body moved in the saddle in unison with the rhythm of the horse’s long strides and I felt almost like I was the one running. I would lean as far forward as I could and Red would feel my weight shift and try to increase his speed.
Next, the very best part would happen. We would pass the other horses one by one. As I moved past one of my friends they would kick and yell trying to get more speed out of their horse but there was nothing they could do. Red was faster and he was going to pass them. Red always got their first.
We would arrive at the big tree or top of the hill or whatever we had chosen as the finish line and laugh and talk about the race while the horses rested and caught their breath. Those were some of the moments of satisfaction I can recall from my youth.
I think about why those moments were so fun. I was basically out of control. I had given free rein to the horse and trusted him entirely to push his way through the other horses and win the race for me. My adrenaline surged as I balanced myself in the saddle and enjoyed the thrill of the race.
Why did I quit doing things like that? Doesn’t God want to add horsepower to my life? Doesn’t He desire for me to release control and let my adrenaline fill me with excitement? I am surely not supposed to be a boring old guy on my sofa in front of the TV watching my life pass me by.
Should I get up and go sky-diving right now? Maybe not. But I don’t have to be going through life with dulled senses because I am older. I can experience the beauty of the outdoors fishing in a mountain stream chasing the fish of a lifetime with a tiny piece of string and a little fly to bring him to my hand.
This goes for my spiritual life as well. I am not built to play it safe. I have to take chances. I have to experience times when I lean forward and go all in to do something where I have no control. All I have is my faith in God to get me through it. I have to forget my fear and enjoy the sensation of it all. I need to get caught up in His power and race toward a goal. Slow and steady may work on some days but not today. Today the wind is hitting me in the face, the pounding of the hooves is in my bones and I am riding.
Isaiah 63:12 Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand—the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever? 13 Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling.
Was following God a dull and mundane thing when Moses parted the Red Sea? No way, adrenaline flowed that day as the people walked between giant walls of water trusting that they wouldn’t fall in upon them. God has excitement to add to our days as well as those peaceful, tranquil times. I want to experience every aspect of God.
Psalms 21:13 Rise up, O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.
I am not playing it safe. Paul didn’t, his life was pretty exciting. He got bit by snakes, survived shipwrecks and tossed into jails and experienced all sorts of crazy things.
Acts 28: 3 As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4 The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5 But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6 The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.
This is going to be a great day. I am trusting God for it.