For the last day and a half our quarter horse mare Peppy has been pacing the fence line. Back and forth and back and forth and back forth she goes headed no where in a hurry. Sometimes our gelding (her son) Banner will join in her frenzied march. Like me, I don’t think he knows what she is so worked up about, but he clearly feels compelled to jump in the on the panic march. At one point I led her into a safe, quiet stall and spoke calmly and reassuringly to her, telling her there was nothing to worry about. It was to no avail, she was sure something was going to eat her (horses are animals of prey and think that way). From time to time she would stop- and Banner would join her- clearly, he is the follower not the leader even though he dwarfs her in size- to stare across our field to the east. What they were watching intently so very far away is a mystery to me. There is an acreage with a horse and goat in their line of view and at one point I pulled out our binoculars hoping to see just what it was exactly that had gotten them so stirred up and you’ll never guess what I saw? Nothing. No horse. No goat. Not. One. Thing. Go figure.
Finally, I just threw up my hands and wished she could talk and just tell me what she was so worried about. But I don’t really think it would help, because I know the truth is, she herself is not really sure.
Too many times in my life I have been just like Pacing Peppy. Worked up over some thing or event that may or may not have happened, I have found myself in frenzy. Back and forth and back forth I go in a futile panic march making much ado about nothing and going no where in a hurry. Sometimes others have been influenced by the chaos I have created and joined in, even though they may not even be sure why. From time to time I have stopped and stared into the frozen and even distant past, or gazed to an imagined future whose outcome I am entirely powerless to control.
Sometimes I have to throw up my hands ask myself just what the heck is wrong with me. Why have I have robbed myself of the gift of the present because I was too unwilling, too stubborn or stupid (is there a difference really?) or too frightened to listen to the calming voice of reason of a trusted parent, family member, friend or confidant who pulled me aside and spoke calmly and reassuringly to me? Perhaps it is because humans are creatures of habit and habits are hard to break or because I just would rather pace the fence line of fear and worry.
Doing more of what’s not working never works and it is about as effective as hitting myself over the head with a hammer to relieve a headache. Ugh!
There is a solution, and all that is required is a simple willingness to believe, trust and obey the tried and true truth of the Gospel of the God man Jesus Christ and here they are: Love God. Love self. Love neighbor as self.
Our Solution loves us unconditionally and He is the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep, horses, and humans. He wants us to have and to live life to the full, with Him.
And that does not include a life full of fear.
Unlike the thief who wants to keep us pacing.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
“I am a very old man, and have known a great many troubles. Most of them never happened.” Mark Twain
Be joy filled always,