A Half-Hearted Horse

I was once given a pretty little red roan Quarter Horse filly by a friend who was unable to keep her anymore. She had come from a PMU barn and my friend had chosen her because of the quiet disposition of her mother. The genes stayed true and this little horse was the most gentle, and yielding thing you could imagine. Halter training was a breeze and when I took her into the round pen as a two year old I stepped into the saddle in less than two hours with nothing more than a couple of half hearted attempts at kicking up her heels.

From there it didn’t take long to move to the arena and then to the open field. At every step she hardly gave any resistance let alone bucking. In little more than a month of riding I was able to use her to lead tourists on trail rides through foothills of Bow Valley Provincial Park. Her only problem was that she was too compliant. Let me explain what I mean.

After a couple of months of working with her it became evident that this little mare would not fight against anything I asked of her, but neither would she do it whole-heartedly. For example, I could move her quite easily from a walk to a trot and, with a little more encouragement, into a canter but as soon as I took my leg off of her she would be back down to a walk. She would do what I asked, but unless I stayed right on her with every stride, even with spurs, she wouldn’t maintain it. She would not resist my commands, but never truly gave me her heart.

There is a lesson in that for us who are Christ followers. Too easily we can fall into the routine of Christianity and get comfortable there. We obey all the rules, and do all the things that are expected of a good Christian, but do we passionately give our whole being to following Christ?

I would much rather be like my old mare, Nina. Sure, at times she would try to do things her way, but even then she listened to me with her whole being. And when she submitted we were so connected that she became just an extension of my will. There was nothing we couldn’t accomplish from crossing mountain rivers, to draging calves to the branding fire, to teaching a child to ride or just a quiet ride at the end of the day.  And we loved doing it together.  Lord give me the heart that makes me an extension of Jesus to the world around me!


About David Berg

I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I pastor a small Baptist church and also work half-time on a local seed farm. It has been more than 25 years that I have been married to a most amazing and beautiful lady whose name is Wendy. Together we have three boys, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. View all posts by David Berg

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