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You’re not a pony, you’re a stallion

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POSTED July 5, 2013 10:20 p.m.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” - Mathew 11:28

Every summer my family and I take a Saturday road trip to Half Moon Bay.  I couldn’t tell you which freeways we take to get there, which exit actually leads us to the beach or even the exact name of the beach we go to, but I can tell you that every time we go, we have a blast.

One of my favorite parts of our annual road trip to the beach is to see just how quickly my husband and I can cause our children to roll their eyes and plug their ears because of us.   Perhaps it has something to do with forcing them to listen to our off-key singing, corny jokes or endless jabber. I’m not sure what it is, but whatever it is, we drive them crazy and it’s so much fun. 

This summer, in the midst of putting our kids through as much dorky parental torture as possible while driving to the beach, we decided to stop off at Lemos Farm for some old-fashioned fun.   At Lemos they have a petting zoo, pony rides, a choo choo train and a play area called the OK Play Corral, perfect for kids who want a break from the two geeks in the front seat of the car.

Wandering through the farm while snapping a ton of pictures, we came across the pony rides.  I was so excited and might have actually tried sitting on one of those tiny horses, if I hadn’t felt certain that doing so would have caused my kids to run and hide underneath hay from embarrassment.  So instead, I decided to watch the ponies for awhile.

There were twelve of them divided up in two corrals and although their coats were different colors and they varied some in height, age and appearance, there was something strangely similar about them.  All twelve ponies, whether hitched to a yoke preparing to give a ride to an eager child or simply standing in the corral filling up on pony grub had the exact same look in their eye.  It was a look of distinctly look that seemed to say, this is not the life I had expected.  I thought I was imagining it, until later when my husband mentioned the same thing.

The dismal look in their eyes stayed with me long after our family adventure to the beach.  I wondered why I couldn’t shake the vision from my mind.  I mean after all they were just ponies, what was the big deal?   Well apparently it was a big deal for me because I ended up doing a bit of research on ponies and found out that those cute little animals are not only intensely trained and seasoned in order to get accustomed to crowds, rings and ride conditions but they are also desensitized.  In other words, through various ways, ponies must be made emotionally insensitive and unresponsive in order to do what is required of them. 

That was it! That was the look I saw in their eyes that day, the look I couldn’t shake, they were desensitized.  Now here comes the really crazy part.  The more I thought about it, the more I considered that look, the more I realize that I see that same desensitized, unresponsive look in people’s eyes all round me all the time. 

Life’s burdens, challenges, and unresolved issues can weigh people down like a heavy yoke causing them to become desensitized by their circumstances.  But that is not how God called us to live!!  We are not meant to be desensitized ponies trudging along unresponsive to the life He’s given us.  In fact, if we are to be compared to any animal at all, we are meant to be more like stallions then ponies.  Stallions, though having a reputation for a wild, aggressive and unruly behavior,  simply desire respect and the freedom to live as they were created--beautiful and free.

We learn about our freedom in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  And again in John 8:36, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” 

As children of God, we are meant to be beautiful and free just like the stallion.  No, not in the sense of running wild and ignoring our God-given responsibilities with family, work, ministry and so on, but free from carrying the heavy yoke of life’s burdens--the very yoke Jesus died for.

As believers, God created each of us to be free but we will never live as such if we do not learn to trust Him with our burdens.   We must learn how to cast our many cares upon Him and believe that He can and will carry the heavy yoke that often comes with life.

Take a look in the mirror today.  If you see a little too much pony in your eyes, maybe it’s time to focus on and trust in scriptures like Galatians 5:1 and John 8:36 before you become desensitized.  Remember, you were created for freedom.  God made you to be beautiful, powerful and free.  It’s time to start living like a stallion!

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