The youngest is the most curious. He is a blonde with light streaks of red and too many times his curiosity gets him into too much trouble. The oldest, a redhead, knows he will be following her wherever she leads and spends more time ignoring him than acknowledging him. The middle one could care less unless the youngest shows some type of move to get closer to the oldest, and then he cares very much.
I’ve watched them when they know I’m watching and when they suspect that I may be watching. Here in this ten-acre pasture they have taught me much about patience, trust, and communication. This three horse herd.
We have been fortunate to be able to obtain this land to keep the horses close and not having to board them somewhere away from us. We have tended the field, fertilized the grass, killed the weeds, and removed as much of the dangers to their safety as we could. The grass is good, thick, and healthy. Sometimes in the spring when the grass is a pretty green and the morning dew lingers on the blades, I think “Dang, that grass looks delicious to me.” I mean, what more could a horse want.
Early this summer I was at the barn finishing some of the chores. Not all of the chores as that would be a task worthy of Hercules. Just finishing up some of them and leaving the others for tomorrow, and the tomorrows after that. I left the barn and was moving toward the house when I saw the youngest with his head between the two bottom boards of the paddock fence reaching for something just beyond his reach. This horse had to bend down, turn his head sideways to get through the fence and his chest was pushing hard against the boards, reaching desperately for…weeds!
I couldn’t believe it. Here he was standing past his ankles in good, rich, healthy grass and he is busting down a fence to get to a clump of briars. And not just your average briars, no; these were the type with thorns about an inch long and ugly leaves. I got him to pull his head back, led him back to the pasture, and closed the paddock gate. He turned and looked at me sideways and said, “Sure, okay, for now. But I know where that good looking stuff is and I’ll be back.”
I’ve thought about this and I have come to the conclusion that he and I are kindred spirits. I've also watched myself trying to break fences and barriers to get to something that I don’t need and is usually bad for me. This time, however, I found myself remembering the lessons from my mother and grandmother about counting your blessings. Yeah, I know, sounds trite, cliché, and corny; but most things that sound that way have more than a kernel of truth to them.
Looking back on those times now; the times when I was straining and pushing to get to something vague and delicious; the times when my sole thought was just to get next to a little bit of sin; I now have a vision of the Lord standing somewhere, much like I was at that paddock fence, shaking his head and muttering, “What’s wrong with that boy?”