The cowboy sat astride the big, black horse. Their goal was to move forward, not run, not prance, just walk. But the horse would not move.
KICK! SLAP! KICK! WHIP!
Over and over the cowboy rained blows on the unyielding horse. Before long, both horse and rider were exhausted and sweating, though all the horse did was stand still. Finally, the cowboy dismounted and lead the animal back to his stall.
The horseman took the animal back out of his stall. Calmly, soothingly putting saddle, bit and bridle back on the still sweating beast. Peacefully they rode together to the same spot that had stopped him before. And once again, he stopped. There was movement from the rider but it was barely perceptible. The horse still would not move. The horseman raised the reins and with a subtle pull of the left rein and a shift of his weight the animal sensed the imbalance and corrected it, by taking a step. The horseman praised the animal and asked again.
Slight tug. Shift in weight.
The horse stepped forward and continued on his way.
Humans that lead us tend to be like the cowboy and we find ourselves angry and frustrated, unwilling to move. And just so we’re clear, sometimes the human is us. We come to a place where we’ve just given up and we can’t take any more. We are not in a place of rest, in fact, we find we are more tired, worn out, than ever.
Then we hear our Father. We sense His presence. We come back to the place of our failures, our stubbornness, our frustration and dig our heels in once again. He lovingly makes us uncomfortable, sometimes causing pain, to remind us of our need to be “under” Him, centered with Him. Then we can move. Then we feel free.
Was the cowboy wrong in what he wanted? He was not gentle. He hurt the one under him and made matters worse. But his goal was the same. The horseman knew the greater need of the horse’s heart. He knew a softer, yet just as compelling, way of communicating.
The problem is the horse didn’t want to move. He could listen to the rougher approach before it had to get so rough. He could listen to the will of the master that was being communicated through the human. But, he didn’t want to move.
Move me. Use whatever you need to put me in the place where I can hear You, know You more. Move me…