9/6/2013 6:00:00 AM Faith column: All will fall; those who endure, get up
Dianne Wilson Faith Columnist
My granddaughter, Emily, has always loved horses, and from an early age has received the benefit of excellent instruction, both in English and Western style riding. Only a few years ago she and I reminisced about some of her exciting horseback-riding experiences.
"You should have seen Tomahawk last year!" she exclaimed. "He bucked and bucked when I tried to ride him, but I held on!"
Now Tomahawk is her young friend's sturdy quarter horse/paint, nearly 16 hands in height and about 1,100-plus pounds. Emily at 11 years, on the other hand, must have weighed at least 80 pounds at the time, and I applauded her "stick-to-itiveness."
I smiled then, remembering another time, another barn, another horse, when Emily was only 5.
"Do you remember when you went flying off the back of Friday's Song?" I asked.
"I sure do!" she said. "How could I forget falling right on my face in all that manure? I even had it in my mouth and my eyes."
Her mommy, having momentarily forgotten about Friday's training to verbal commands as the horse with its young rider walked the indoor arena, shouted, "Hey, Emily, would you like to trot?"
Before Emily could say a word, Friday's Song broke into a fast trot, leaving our little one face down in the musty, dusty barn dirt.
"Muddy tears streamed down Emily's cheeks," said her mom. "But when I asked if she wanted to go sit down, she shook her head no. She got right back on the horse. What a courageous little girl!"
The best of riders will take an occasional spill. Those who endure - holding on, no matter how great the challenge - and who courageously get back up after each fall will surely win the prize.
Prizes come in many different shapes and sizes. Perhaps yours will be a blue ribbon for best rider, or perhaps the personal satisfaction of having overcome yet another of life's challenges. Maybe the prize will present as another solid block of perseverance in the foundation of our character.
I understand things like wanting to give up, because I've felt that way too many times over the years. But God seems to have lovingly equipped me with enough stubbornness - my worst character flaw made lovely when used rightly - to keep on keeping on.
Always there has been a prize, tailor-made to meet my every need.
Hebrews 12:1-2 reads: We also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight ... and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I suppose I can endure a few spills, even a face full of manure, just for today, knowing that Jesus Himself awaits me at the end of the race.
You may e-mail Ms. Wilson by visiting http://www.pensepublishing.com.