Friday, August 1, 2014

The Horse (Part II): It's Up To Her

In my last post, I wrote about a fabulous scene from The Man From Snowy River where Jim and Jessica break in a wild horse.

I was reminded of this scene after a recent conversation about my job. And my desire for it to be different.

[Must note, to all my coworkers and patients, L&D nursing is an incredible job…I have amazing coworkers and have had some of the best and most meaningful experiences there. But those of us who do it day in and day out know the struggles, the things that gnaw away at our resolve to do it another day. For me, the overarching desire is to be out from under the weight, stress, and ever-increasing responsibility. I love the relational side and wish that could be the sole part of my job, but that's not the reality. Maybe it's something in my make up, maybe it's changing desires of my heart (ahem, Africa), whatever the reason, it is a constant struggle to balance the weight of charting/legalities with relationing well with my patients and their families.]

I had spent a good part of the conversation discussing why I felt this way and what I was planning to do about it.

And as I reflected about the trying days, the depressing waking moments at 5 am, the struggle to remain positive for 12 continual hours, I realized something: just like a wild horse in a corral, my spirit wants free.

This may not be inherently bad…unless I am seeking out this freedom before it's time. God may open the gate sometime. And it may be soon. But it isn't open yet. And I'm bucking and kicking my way through the day, starting with that 5 am wake up.

Now I've never broken in a horse, but I'd imagine the more bucking and rearing she does, the more rubs and sore spots she's going to have. If she chooses to surrender and submit to being broken, then those wounds won't appear.

What if this time is for me to continue being trained? I think I'm ready to barrel my way through the gate into the wild blue yonder and yet God is patiently beckoning me to calm down, listen more intently to His voice, and continue to learn the rhythms and patterns in His will.

I did some youtube research about breaking in horses and couldn't believe what I found. Check out this incredible video of famous horse trainer, Monty Roberts. It's just under 7 minutes and seriously well worth the time...

Did you catch one of the first things he said about Coronna?

It's up to her.

It completely sets the stage for his relationship with her. It's her choice to listen…or not. Strikingly like our walk with the Lord…it's up to us whether we seek Him...or not. (see the entire Old Testament and the Israelites' stubbornness that is a constant thread throughout the whole thing)

And then…

I will do it with her. I will not force her to do anything.

He doesn't leave her alone. He allows her freedom. Hmm…similar to God's promise to always be with us (Deuteronomy 31:6)…and how He pursues us even after we've run from Him (see the entire book of Hosea).


Her inside ear will find me. Outside ear listens to the rest of the world.

Coronna's hearing is trained. Similarly, we listen to His voice and know Him while we live and exist in the world (see John 10:27-30).

Smaller circle.

Coronna begins to circle closer to the one giving her direction. She seeks him as we seek the Lord, who promises to be found if we would seek Him with all our heart. (see Jeremiah 29:12-13)

Join up - get her attention, draw her to me.

Eerily similar to Jesus' invitation for us to "follow me." He demonstrates His love, His glory, His faithfulness and invites us into an abundant life with Him (see Mark 1:16-18; Mark 2:14; Luke 5:10-11; John 1:35-51, and last but not least John 10:10)

See, we have the choice to be broken in or wounded.

The horse wants to run free. We all want to run free. But if we don't know where we're going, we're likely to get wounded. If we surrender to God's leading, allowing Him to train us, to "break" us so to speak, we will be freer than ever before. He can lead us into pastures greater and grander than we can imagine.

But we have to be ready for them.

We can't go find them on our own, ill-equipped for the trials ahead.

When we allow our Trainer, our loving Father, to do a work in us, we learn to do it with Him. Turning our inner ear to Him while the noise of the world swirls around. We draw into a smaller circle with Him, allowing Him to have our attention, allowing Him to draw us to Himself.

Whether it takes 2 months or 5 years.

Letting go of the stubborn kick that rubs the saddle raw on our backs isn't always easy. And for some (me) it might take a little longer.

We can roam around forever in the great expanse, having a false sense of direction and purpose.

Or we can enter the corral, knowing it's the best plan for us.

And when that corral feels more stifling than freeing, could it be that we have taken our gaze off the One who is able to do immeasurably more than we could imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21)? Maybe it really isn't even a corral, we just see it that way because of our desire to be in a different place.

We want to be free, but we have to continually surrender, trusting in God's heart and faithfulness to bring us through what He has for us, all for His glory.

But, like Coronna, it's up to us.