Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12 (ESV)
At most equestrian events, you ride your well-trained horse as fast and as well as you can. You give it your best to earn the blue ribbon.
But at certain collegiate equestrian events, the rules are quite different. Rather than riding your own horse, you are given a random horse to ride just moments before you compete.
Imagine, on the spur of the moment, having to ride a horse you’re not familiar with. This puts the focus squarely on your ability to make the best of whatever the horse throws at you, whatever the horses’ mannerism or quirks.
What’s inside the rider – attitude, heart, technique, patience, and wisdom – come to the surface. The rider must steward all he or she knows in order to win. And sometimes riding the worst horse well, can earn you 1st place.
A friend of mine’s daughter (shown here) rides horses for Ohio State’s equestrian team and she’s been given all kinds of horses to ride – horses that respond slowly, gentle horses, mean horses and even a one-eyed horse!
Riding Your Horse Well
We’re each given a horse to ride here on earth. Some of us have harder horses, some easier and some of our horses have one eye.
Have you ever met someone who rode the horse they were given well under the adverse conditions? Be sure to watch this video of Nicholas James Vujicic if you haven’t. He was born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. He rides his horse very well – and he got a bad horse by the world’s standards.
The Horse We Want
But, we always want to ride our own horse, the one we can control – the one that does everything we want just the way we want it – a familiar horse. We want the saddle that fits just right, the gait we expect and the responsiveness we know so well. But that’s not what life gives us. However tough, we simply must surrender our “right” to the horse we think we deserve.
Fuel for the Race
Regardless of the horse we’ve been given, we have a powerful source for riding each day. No matter what our condition, God promises to give us all we need for the race. In fact, if you are a follower of Christ, the Bible promises that we have all we need “in Christ”.
In even the mist of horrific or disappointing circumstances, by His Spirit, we can have all the patience, love, peace, kindness, agility, determination and joy we need.
How will you ride the horse you’ve been given? Will you strive for your own perfect, manageable horse or will you look to the Lord to help you ride the one you’ve got?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4 (ESV)
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In this world you will have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.] – John 16:33 (AMP)
Special thanks to Craig and Mercedes Stover for the image.