Another exceptionally warm day in the middle of Jan. for NE. It is 45 degrees today with a 20 mph wind. So I put on my bomber hat with the fuzzy flaps down before I went outside. I need to protect my ears since I am getting over an ear infection. I am feeling much better, but I am conserving my energy. I don’t want to over-do it before the weekend, as I will be traveling to Omaha and Lincoln to give lessons. So instead of riding a horse, I decided to just spend time with them because I love them. They always bring me joy and peace.
As I walked out to the corral I was greeted by the usual soft nickers. Three of the horses were lying down napping in the sun. Their heads popped up when they heard me open the gate. Stretching as they got up, I swear they could read my intentions. They followed me to the pasture gate and waited patiently while I opened it.
Sunshine is usually the last one to come out, since she is such a scaredy-cat. But today Sorry was the last to leave her corral because she was still stretching and waking up from her nap. I waited for her, and we walked beside each other as if we were lovers walking hand in hand. It was a precious moment that she stayed with me and did not try to catch up with the herd, who were already half way through the small pasture on their way to the larger one. Even Buddy, my dog was ahead with the other horses. As we reached the herd she lowered her head towards me, I gave her a pet then turned to go toward the next gate. She immediately went to herd up with her best partner, Fanny. Remember last week when I talked about herds within the herds?
As I reached the second gate to the larger pasture Cisco realized it was open and he led the rest of them out. As they formed their little herds within the herds, I walked the perimeter of the pasture, gazing at the beautiful sandhills. Even in the browness of winter they have a special serenity to them which my soul has not found anywhere else on earth. I’ve ridden my horses in the majesty of the rocky mountains in MT, WY, CO, and the Sierra’s in northern CA. I have traveled many miles on horseback through the high deserts of NV and the sage brush plains of WY. I certainly appreciate the grandeur and beauty of these places, but there really is no place like home.
As I walked around with my horses simply enjoying their presence I felt so much love for them it is hard to explain. There is just something about how a horse lover feels about their horses which cannot be explained to a non-horse lover. Either you love them or you don’t. And if you love them you love them with your whole heart, soul, mind, and emotions. Even when they buck you off, have habits that drive you crazy, break your heart when they get injured, give you a heart attack every year when you get the hay, vet, and farrier bills, you know you will always want them in your life.
As I walked by each horse I just kept going unless they lifted their head up to greet me with what I call the horse hand shake. It is a gentle reaching forward with their nose to touch you. If they offered me the hand shake I touched them back with what I hoped felt like the touch of a horse. After the hand shake I just hung out with that horse for a bit, blending in with him step for step. I did not make any demands of the horse, I just hung out in his/her presence because I love them. Many people think if they aren’t doing something with their horse they are not accomplishing anything. But I don’t think that is true. I believe we are building a relationship of trust and confidence in each other as I spend non-demanding time with them just because I like their company.
I did this for about 45 minutes. As I walked back to the house I was reminded of a scripture in Matthew.
“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Mat. 22:37-38
It occurred to me that a love relationship with God is more important than any other single factor in our lives. My Christian life (not my salvation) and how I live it depends on the quality of my love relationship with God. Didn’t God create us for a love relationship with Him? I believe that to be loved by God and love Him back, is the highest relationship, the highest achievement and the highest position in life.
I also realized that we are a doing people. We feel worthless or useless if we are not busy doing something. The above scripture leads me to understand that God is saying, “I want you to love me above everything else.” If we love God in this way, I think it will lead us to want to spend un-demanding time in his presence just because we want to and we can. His door is always open.
As I think about my time alone with God, I wonder if I am always doing something, or asking Him for something. Why do I keep a time alone with God? Is it to satisfy my needs? Is it to get to know him better? Is it to petition for others in prayer? Is it to seek guidance in decision and make requests of my needs? Well there is nothing wrong with any of these reasons, and they are good things to do with God during your time alone with Him. However I would like to submit to you today that sometimes the reason you spend time alone with God is simply because He loves you and you love Him. Perhaps the reasons we will keep a time alone with God is not in order to have a relationship, but because we desire to enrich and deepen the relationship we already have with Him.
Have you spent un-demanding time with your horses lately, just because you love them?
Have you spent time alone walking with God lately, simply because you love Him and enjoy His fellowship?
You may ask, “you told us how to spend un-demanding time with our horses, but what does that look like with God?”
Here are some suggestions:
Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day.
- Set aside 30 minutes of time this week to “walk with God alone”.
- Find a suitable location. (I chose my horse pasture.) Some place without interruptions, and no cell phones, computers, or TVs.
- Talk out loud to God.
- Focus your thoughts on the love of your heavenly Father.
- Praise Him for His love and mercy.
- Thank Him for expression of his love to you. (Be specific)
- Express your love to Him.
- Worship and adore Him.
- Then quiet yourself and listen.
- When you get home write about your experience.
God bless you all as you enrich your love relationship with Jesus and with your horses too.