I’d like to talk to you about a VERY special person; because when you have found a treasure, you have to share it with others.
I’ve been a Christian for over 35 years, and I’ve found that being a Christian is not always a walk in the park. Take for instance the virtue of acceptance. For the glory of Christ, a Christian not only has to put up with dirty jokers on the job, but avoid them, all of that without hurting their feelings or making them feel unaccepted.
Christians ought to be kind (as they try to imitate their Master) even when someone has hurt them or mistreated them in the past. A Christian has to forgive and forget, nothing less, but much more.
A Christian has to learn to be patient with others as they recognize that they also struggle with sin or lack of wisdom sometimes. (Not the easiest task if you ask me!)
A Christian is meant to be happy, after all, we have been forgiven of our sins and we’ve been promised eternal life in heaven, besides, the Spirit of God lives within us and help us to accomplish that for which we were created: to glorify God. What could be more sublime and joy-producing than that?
A Christian must love others because everyone who knows God must also love.
Even though every Christian must possess these characteristics and many more, I have to confess that I am not there yet. Patience, kindness, forgiveness, and love are spiritual fruits that are slowly growing within me, but sometimes I’d like to see them grow faster!
I think it is now appropriate to introduce you to Mary Jane, a very special horseback riding trainer. When it comes to relating to others, she is the person I look up to. She’s truly “out of the ordinary”. Is she accepting? You bet! Is she kind? Very! Is she patient? Every time! Does she love? You judge for yourself…
We met her for the first time after many prayers and months of looking for a horseback riding trainer for my daughter. As soon as we got out of our car, she offered us the most welcoming smile and told us about her experience and background.
At least four months have passed and my daughter is the happiest girl on earth every time she gets to train with her. M. J. treats her with respect, patience, and kindness; always offering wise, unforgettable stories that impress upon her mind the necessary skills for becoming a good rider.
Lessons fly, sometimes singing, other times giving advice or telling stories, but mostly laughing all the way to another happy end to a day of training.
M. J. is always willing to share with my daughter (and with my husband and me) the enormous amount of knowledge about the equestrianism that she has accumulated throughout her impressive career. She’s been riding since she was eleven years old and she has become so knowledgeable that she even trains trainers! Yet, you wouldn’t think she is this remarkable just by looking at her because she is the most down-to-earth, sincere, spirited, unpretentious woman.
After two or three weeks of absence, we returned to M.J.’s ranch again for my daughter’s regular class. She came out of her house, greeting us with a loud “hello!” and a warm, big hug. Yes, she is so warm that getting to see her again feels pretty much like meeting with a friend, and a good one.
I cannot tell you how much my whole family appreciates and loves M.J., and how much I have learned from her. This woman, (who describes herself as a believer in God and the ten commandments) has taught me what it is like to treat others as yourself, what it is like to be positive, what it is like to be encouraging, how to really leave an impression on people.
If you think that she is like this because we are her clients, you could not be further from the truth. I can tell you that not every trainer is like her. For instance take some swimming coaches in my area (Turlock) that instruct my daughter: always bossing around the boys and girls they train, making them feel worthless at times. They shut them up if they don’t feel like hearing them, and smile at them if they are having a good day. They are knowledgeable, yes, but nothing else.
I am so glad the Lord helped us to find this extraordinary trainer, who is also a great friend and certainly a rare gem, an out of the ordinary woman.