I’m just returning from a rare and much needed vacation. This was my first time traveling out of the country without a conference or missionary assignment attached to the journey. This trip was purely about R&R. So, I headed off to Negril with my runboos and I HAD A BLAST!! I’m a “sun baby.” So, I could have spent the entire vaca lying on the beach, soaking in the sun. Instead, I decided to throw in a few activities.
This was my first time riding a horse (except for the pony ride around the parking lot at Kentland Playskool when I was 4). Animals are wise and intuitive. So, I’m sure he knew that I was a novice. Lucky Day was patient and endured my rapid outbursts of “Slow down! Where are you going? Left, I said, left!” My guide, Rasta, continuously reminded me that Lucky Day was trained. Unlike me, he wasn’t new to the experience.
We started with a practice ride around a fenced in ring so the riders could become comfortable with being atop the horses and with giving basic commands- fast, slow, left, right, stop, go. But you and I both know that it’s easy to feign mastery in controlled conditions.
So we left the ring and headed off on the trail. The scenery was beautiful, but nobody warned me that the trail led up and around a mountain and that I would be placing my life in the hooves of a horse named Lucky Day for the next 90 minutes.
When the ascent up the mountain began, the guide instructed me to, “Hold on to the reins firmly, stretch my legs in front of me,” and “lean back” to let the horse know that I trusted him. And that’s where the struggle began. I didn’t trust him. And didn’t he see that cliff next to his feet and the stream running along the bottom?!? (Add unable to swim to unable to ride horses when you write my biography.)
After trying unsuccessfully to concentrate as Rasta pointed out trees and flowers along the route, I finally admitted, “You are really giving me interesting facts about Jamaica and all I’m trying to do is stay on this horse.” Rasta laughed out loud…
…for a long time.
Then he looked at me and said, “Relax. He knows where he’s going. Enjoy the ride.”
So I did just that! We picked some fruit and sniffed a few flowers. I remained calm as we descended the mountain and waded through the streams. I snapped a few photos and stopped trying to control the situation.
As 2015 comes to a close and I begin setting my intentions for 2016, I will remember Rasta’s words and the lessons I learned from Lucky Day.
The One who carries me knows the way.
My job is to trust Him and enjoy the ride.