The other week whilst on holiday in Northern Ireland with my wife and 2 friends, one of my friends decided they would like to go pony trekking. So we set off for an hours pony trekking in the beautiful sunny Northern Ireland countryside!
All was well – the horses knew the route they take day in and day out and so basically followed the leader. One of my friends was experienced at horse riding, my wife and another friend were having their first experience and I had pony trekked a few times a few years ago.
The route took us through a field of cows (and a few bulls thrown in for good measure!) As we got to the far side of the field one of the cows takes an interest in this group of horses and instructors and comes running over. Then it took too much of an interest and got closer and started charging at us. This raised an interest in the fifty or so other cows, calves and bulls who suddenly decided they wanted a closer look. A herd of cattle running our direction at speed is not a good picture when you are sat on a horse.
As a bull took charge we managed somehow to move through into another field but didn’t have time to close the gate before the fifty cattle closed in and charged at us through the gate and bushes. One of the horses started to gallop round in circles and threw its rider off (thankfully avoiding any of the cow’s deposits and without injury from the fall or the cattle), my horse, excited, rose into the air using its front legs to lash out at the ever nearing cows and bulls (somehow I managed to stay on), my wives horse was lazy and simply watched whilst my other friend, the experienced rider, had her horse fully under control!
We decided that we needed to go through the approaching cattle towards a path that we hoped they wouldn’t follow us down. With excited horses, lots of shouting and a determination we made a path through the cattle and onto the relative safety of the path. One cow was stuck in front of us running ahead trying to get back through into the field (one cow on its own is not a threat – in fact we were a threat to it) with the others realising the fun was over standing at the path entrance watching us.
After a few hundred metres the one trapped cow found its way through the bushes back to the field and we cut short our nice gentile pony trek and returned to the stables.
Often life is like this pony trek! We think things are going smoothly, its a nice walk in the park when suddenly a problem or issue (or cow) becomes part of our life. As we let our guard down we take our eyes off God and place them onto the issue – we let life rule us. This opens the door to a stampeding herd of problems or issues that come our way and effect our walk. In truth God is always bigger and his Holy Spirit is there to equip us and empower us to not focus on the problems, but to rise above – to stay on the horse – to rule in life, to have determination to take control, to find the path out and to be victorious.
When life throws bull at you, and it will, remember Romans 5:17:
“All who receive God’s abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ”
God’s grace gives us the ability to rule in life not be ruled by life or problems, or issues (or cows and bulls!) – live in that grace not in the issues….