Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Stubborn Horse!

We all know them - those people who won't budge unless it's their idea. Have you ever tried to take a big dog for a walk when he didn't want to go? It can be comical, but frustrating.

I was enjoying an exhilarating run on my horse years ago when suddenly she came to an instant halt. Needless to say, I didn't. I continued my ride, but with no horse underneath. After I recovered my breath, if not my dignity, I walked 20 feet to where the mare stood waiting. I was furious and confused about why she would do this to me. I got back on and attempted to nudge her forward, but she wasn't about to move. After a bit of investigating, I saw that there was a cluster of boxed beehives just ahead. I hadn't been aware of the hazard but she was, and stubbornly kept us both safe.

On another occasion, I was riding my gelding (a neutered boy horse) with a friend. We were on a trail heading up a mountain when I noticed that my pal’s mare wasn't very happy about my horse's nose getting so close to her back end. (She was a lady, after all.) I reined him in and tried to keep him at a comfortable distance, but he strained closer. Shortly, she sent a strong back leg toward his amorous mug, but instead, connected with my shin. Imagine getting slammed in the leg with a baseball bat. I saw tweeting birds and bright lights for a while before I was able to continue back down the mountain.

People can be stubborn too - sometimes for prudent reasons and sometimes purely for self-indulgence. If you're acting like a mule, begin to give more thought to why you insist on doing things your way. Jeremiah 7:24 says,

“But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward.” (NLT)

If you believe you are being sincerely cautious, check in with God to make sure your hesitation is wisdom and not a spirit of fear.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

If it's just out of habit or convenience, try opening your mind to fresh pathways. You'll likely arrive at the same destination but people around you won't feel like they've been kicked or thrown down or held back. Old dogs (as well as horses and people) can learn new tricks if they're willing to try.

Are you sometimes obstinate, unyielding and uncompromising as you interact with others? Whatever your reasons, if you are seeking to honor God, He will clarify when it is best to move and when you should stand firm.

Copyright © Diane Markins, used with permission.

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