TITLE: Whoa There! 03/14/21
By Deborah Garner
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
"Dad, is Renegade dead?" Seventeen-year-old Leesa tearfully implored her father for news as he rushed into her room. Approaching the hospital bed, seemingly undaunted by her emotion, he jumped into his own stream of questions.
"Leesa, you could have been killed! Do you know how worried I was after the call from the hospital? The doctor said you have a serious concussion, bruised ribs, and a broken ankle. How do you feel? You have scratches all over your face."
"Not so great, Dad; my head and ankle really hurt, but I've had pain medicine."
Not one to mince words or exhibit saintly patience, her dad launched into a parental lecture. "Whatever made you take that stallion out on the trail? I told you he couldn't be trusted; he has a wild nature. You're an excellent rider, but he's a hundred times stronger than you! You promised you would stay in the paddock with him." The timber of his voice, the volume just barely held in check, testified to his anger, but she attributed his restraint to be more from his respect of the hospital quiet zone than in consideration of her throbbing head. Her dad regularly expressed his concern for her well-being, describing how precious she was to him, but today he was definitely short on sympathy for her misery.
"I was tired of jogging around in the pasture. Renegade has been so good for weeks, doing what I ask, hardly resisting the bit. I had a tie-down* on him and a tight rein, but a motorcycle ran up behind us and spooked him. He bolted and took the bit, and then I saw that rock wall coming at me. I didn't think he could clear it, so I pushed myself off the back of him. Her excuses sounded lame and inadequate even to her ears.
"Did he have to be put down, Dad?" She closed her eyes, dreading grievous news and weary from the effort of reliving the accident.
"No, he's alive, but we found him with deep foreleg lacerations and a cut over his eye. He probably clipped the wall and went down. I know chances are probably slim, but I can hope that both of you will be less bent on wild impulses now." He softened his words with a weak smile.
"I'm so sorry, Dad; I thought I could control him."
In the above vignette, the young woman, disregarding her father's equestrian expertise, believed she was a better judge of her riding skills. The illustrative story was to showcase a typical egotistical insistence that stems from a human belief that our own decisions are trustworthy. This arrogance often stems from a rebellious nature rather than accurately assess our capabilities.
In our society, traditional and political influences call us to be free and independent thinkers, objecting to any perceived unjust laws or restrictions. It's said to be the "American Way" to fight for freedom and live life on our terms. Like the young woman in the story, rebellion and resisting those in authority over us, especially God's sovereignty, eventually leads us headlong into trouble.
From the beginning of recorded Biblical history, men chose to rely on their own judgment, rejecting God's wisdom and admonitions. Their malignant aspirations fed by an illusion of control ranged from eating the forbidden fruit, demanding to anoint their own kings, manipulating inheritances, and constructing a tower to reach heaven; their endeavors of foolish conceit denied the authority of God. In contrast, righteous characteristics, including self-control, are developed when the power source flows from the Holy Spirit. The Bible promises that if we allow God to be in control, His strength becomes ours and we can resist the self-centeredness demonstrated by rule-breaking, lying, cheating, and manipulation of others. Additionally, society's plethora of enticements such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, and gambling will fail to draw us into their catastrophic trap of addiction.
Unlike the strong-willed stallion creating imminent danger for both of them, as he broke free from his rider's control to charge in his own direction, we would be wise to yield to the guidance of the heavenly Master's hands. If we allow Him to take our reins, the Holy Spirit will discipline us to walk down His paths leading through gates into lush, green pastures.
*A tie-down is a strap used in Western equitation, connecting a horse's bridle noseband to the girth strap to prevent head-throwing or rearing and gives the horse something to brace against when abruptly stopping.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.