Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Things a horse taught me

Good morning, I pray the day is finding you well. I realized this morning that I failed to tell you that Chuck and I annual ride. We spend the better part of two weeks riding around the country seeing the sites. We started Sunday morning and rode to Mountain Home Idaho. Monday we rode from Mountain Home to Filmore Utah. Do you know what is in Filmore? Not much. Yesterday was a great day. We traveled through some pretty amazing country. As I rode along on my bike I started thinking about Tinker. Back on the farm we had a horse named Tinker. She was half quarter horse and Half Shetland pony. I guess that is why I have a dog that is half golden retriever and half basset hound. I seemed to be drawn to the unusual. Tinker was the horse that all the kids learned to ride on. She was a great kid horse. Looking back, I was really lucky to have been able to learn on Tinker. Tinker had her quirks though. She did not like saddles, so we all learned to ride bareback. Dad would put us on her back and she would start walking. At first just staying on her back at all was hard. She would walk along and before long I would start to slide off to one side. Tinker would feel me sliding and she would start walking almost sideways twisting her back in a vain attempt to keep me from falling off. By the time I slide down one side or the other she would be at a complete stop with her back twisted as far to which ever side I had fallen, then would give me the classic Tinker look. There I would be laying on my back, on the ground, and she would crank her head around and look me straight in the eyes as if to say, "Moron, get up and get back on." I would get back on, which by the way resembled nothing like the cowboy movies with the cowboy throwing a leg over like a gymnast and riding off into the sunset; no a kid grabs anything he can hang onto and kind of jumps the best he can and then scrambles and kicks his way back onto the horse. It is quite a process really. Tinker would just stand there patiently allowing me to pull her mane, kick her belly, lay on my stomach, pull a leg over, finally sitting up on her back. She would wait for me to get ready and then start walking again. I would fall off and the process would start all over again. When we got the walking part down, Tinker would start trotting training. Tinker must have had 15 different trots. No matter how hard I would kick her or say, "Come on Tinker lets go." Tinker would just trot a little faster. I don't know if you have ever ridden a horse, but trotting bareback is like sitting on top of a jack hammer. Have you ever seen a baby bouncing on a gram pa's knee, that is what I am sure I looked like. It is not very comfortable, but Tinker was a kid trainer. She would trot, I would fall off, she would give me the look, and I would scramble back on. After I mastered the trot Tinker moved on to cantering and finally galloping. I was always amazed, we could be half a mile from the house and she would just stand there waiting for this goofy kid to get up and back on. The other horses would have just bolted to the barn, free of their encumbrances. Tinker finally taught me how to ride. By the time she got done with me I could ride just about any horse. They would try to get me off but I would just sink myself into their withers like I had crazy glue on my butt. As I rode through Utah, I thought about Tinker. I thought how patient she was with me. I thought how I might never had learned to ride if she had not taken the time to teach me, really teach me, not just go through the motions. As I rode through Utah, I thought about the YMCA. I thought how we have the opportunity to teach kids, adults, families how to become whole. Psychiatrists would call it self-actuated. I thought what an awesome responsibility it is. Tinker taught me how to be patient. Tinker taught me that everyone is learning something. I will try to do a better job of emulating Tinker. I wonder how often Jesus felt like Tinker. Teaching people, watching them fall and get back up. He never left them either. I bet Jesus feels like Tinker with me sometimes too. He never leaves me either. Have a great day, I know that I will. Blessings,

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