Thursday, October 2, 2008

Horse Tales Part Three

Welcome back. Both of you.

When I left you last, on pins and needles, I'm sure, Rod and I were in the eye of the proverbial horse hurricane.

Yes, there is one. Now, shush and let me tell the story.

The horse part of our lives felt out of control. So much of our time and resources were poured into this hobby;horse.

(get it? Hobby horse? Ha! I slay me.)

Ahem. Anyway, we were noticing that rather than pleasure, the horses were bringing on feelings of guilt and entanglement.

Here's what I'm trying to say.

When we would decide to buy a horse, we spent hours and days and weeks studying the different breeds to help us decide what was best for us.

Then we had to spend hours and days and weeks traveling around searching for the right horse. Yes, we even traveled out of state a time or two.

Then we had to spend hours, days and weeks figuring out what saddles, bridles, brushes, shampoo, and feed to buy.

Then there was the day to day care and training for the horses. Hours, days and weeks.

Finally, there were the discussions. Hour upon hour of horse discussion.

Between Rod and I, and also between my good friend, (I'll call her Brenda) and I. It was our favorite topic and days would pass when we hardly spoke about anything else, so great was our love of horse discussions.

None of these things are inherently wrong. But our joy, our life, our treasure was spent pursuing our love of horses.It didn't leave enough room in our hearts for the God we told ourselves we wanted to worship. Most of our time and energy was used up "chasing" horses. It gave us our joy and motivated us.Until it became a burden.

We were still involved in church and related activities, but it was obvious where our hearts were. And where our money went.

2nd Kings 17:33 says "They worshipped the LORD, but they also served their own gods."

Yikes. And yet that is exactly what we were doing.

I wish I could say that we recognized this truth and acted on it, but all we knew at the time was that the horses had gone from supplying much of our happiness to overwhelming us guilt and a loss of control. We had sour stomachs.

One day, as were were loading our barn up with hay for the winter, we abruptly decided to sell everything. The horses, trailer, camper and saddles.

The swiftness with which everything went took our breath away.
Within a very short time, it was all gone.

(Saying good-bye to Kisses and Drifter as their new owners prepared to take them away.)

Although me missed our animals,we felt released from our self-imposed horse prison.

Does this mean we think horses are bad? Not at all.(Except for a few we have known.But that's a whole other story.)

Anything that becomes an idol to us, whether a hobby, a relationship, career paths, blogging, (!!!)even a church position or program can potentially become an idol, or small god.

Kelly Minter, in her book "No Other Gods, Confronting Our Modern Day Idols" says this, "Ah, yes. I have wanted some darn good things a bit too much a time or two. Good things that ultimately become controlling things. Things I bowed down to, perhaps not literally, but with every other piece of my being."

John Calvin put it this way,"The evil in our desire typically does not lie in what we want, but that we want it too much."

This is what Rod and I were guilty of.

Using Rod's bad back as a partial excuse, we got rid of the "thing" that had taken us over.

We needed some time away to get some clarity and regain a right perspective. An eternal perspective.

Randy "my friend" Alcorn, (yes,I'm name dropping.) in his book "The Treasure Principle" quotes C.S. Lewis, "We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased."

Here is Rod, in the process of changing our barn into a garage.

This has been a year of real changes with regards to horses in our lives. We are both committed to working at not letting anything come between us and the One True God.
He is so good to us, and has so much more for us than the joy we find in horses, and as I type this I am overwhelmed again with love for Him.

Tune in soon for the last installment of Horse Tales. I think you'll be surprised how it all ends.
Below you can see Rod saying good-bye to his baby, Drifter. Enjoy!

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