The best tuners, the winning tuners, always seem to get more power from their motors somehow. Skill, luck, experience, or a combination thereof, they do what it takes to win, to get that extra horsepower, and make it work. But my friend Meredith tells me of a different type of horsepower, and the loving way she unlocked it. Years ago when in high school, she rescued an abused horse, one that would let no man or saddle near him. Beaten down, she decided she was going to rescue this horse and restore him, so after school she went to the barn where he was kept, released him into the corral, and would sit in the middle of it reading a book. Not demanding of the horse, but just being there, quietly and kindly. For over year, much longer than I would have lasted, this was her daily exercise, summer and winter, which can be brutal in New Jersey. Until one afternoon, the horse came up and nuzzled her, he finally trusted her, and the relationship took on a new meaning. It would still be months until she could put a saddle on him, but they grew together in love, the horse trusted his new master, and some time after would allow her to saddle him, and finally ride him. It took years for the horse to trust, to be healed of abuse, but Meredith stuck it out, and the end result is miraculous. That extra horsepower she was looking for, came down to one horse and one horsepower, only revealed, then finally released in love. A horse whose spirit had been broken, trusted again, it had been saved from previous abuses. Only love would change its heart, and that love can only come from a loving master who is willing to sacrifice the time and effort to see it through.
Many of us fall into the category of the abused horse. Life has beaten us down, friends desert us, religion just burdens us more, and soon we withdraw, not trusting anyone, or anything, including ourselves. We retreat to a stall, and go through the days in a trance, life has no meaning. And then the spirit moves on us, the Jesus we may have heard about in Sunday school, or read about in the Bible becomes more than just a Sunday message. As the spirit kindles God’s love for us, we see Jesus calling to us, but not demanding. Offering love, coming down to our level, even if it takes getting down in the dirt. Slowly all the hope we lost begins to come back, but a real hope not based on opinions, but on love. Not on feelings, but of the spirit. Words that before confused, now have meaning, deep meanings that cannot be expressed any other way but Jesus. A love that loves you as you are, but doesn’t want to leave you that way. One that may appear tough, but is really tender. One that is personal, where you are not just another face in the crowd, or case number. Jesus becomes real because he is real, and soon your life grows with him. You nuzzle up close to him, and finally when you are ready, on goes the saddle, and the horsepower that was hidden is revealed. You are a new creature in Christ, the old is passed away. The saddle, the yoke of Jesus fits perfectly, and you look forward to the ride, and the next one. Where will we go today? And it will never end.....and we give thanks.
In giving thanks, we come face to face with reality. We recognize God in the situations, and how his mercy calls us, his grace saves us, and the spirit guides us. We find God is along for the ride, he is the ride, and the ride goes on forever. Maybe not always the smoothest ride, but when we take his yoke, the saddle we have seems to fit better, we ride farther, and trust more. Where once we were godless and all about ourselves, now we reach out to others as he has reached out to us. We forgive because he has forgiven us, we show compassion because he shows us compassion, and we love because he loved us first.
The groundwork that was laid before the beginning comes forth in our lives, and we are victorious. We still face trials and temptations, but now we trust the one who saved us and loves us. Love in the form of Jesus Christ is the panacea, and nothing else will ever satisfy. It is in our total surrender that we like the horse get to know the loving master, and lives are changed. If a horse has that much sense, what about us? Isn’t it time to leave the barn and get out in the corral where the action is? Where the spirit is calling, waiting patiently for our answer? But do not be confused between waiting and delaying, we walk by faith, delaying the call can be deadly, and why would you not want to be at peace today? Were, are the beatings that much fun you won’t give them up?
My favorite cowboy once sung “happy trails to you, until we meet again..” Leonard Slye, aka Roy Rogers today has his personal horse Trigger stuffed in his museum. Trigger nor Roy ride anymore, Roy knew Jesus and rides in heaven. Trigger was only his earthly mount. Jesus took him home to heaven. Today may the spirit guide you on happy trails that lead to Jesus. As he sits waiting, don’t delay. A ride like no other is waiting, and there is nothing like getting back in the saddle. That search for that elusive extra horsepower may be right in front of you and you don’t see it. Power not found nor shown on any dyno, only revealed through a loving God who wants to have his children back. And gave his own son to do it. So stop horsing around.....saddle up and ride. Until we meet again...
love with compassion,