“How much experience do you have ma’am?” asked the man. “Zip, zero, nada,” I responded. Aside from my one and only experience my sophomore year in college from which I didn’t remember anything, I had no dealings with horses other than having to endure old western movies with my daddy as a child.
“Okay then…we’ll assign you to Bobby.” That was just perfect! They assigned me to a male horse with a simple name. I just knew he was going to be non-temperamental and easy going.
I looked at all the other riders leading their horses with ease from the field to the stable so they could groom and saddle them up. Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most comfortable when it comes to getting close to just any animal, so me leading big ole’ Bobby to the stables was definitely a stretch. As soon as I began to walk him, he began practically dragging me. He even stopped and picked him up some grass, which apparently was not allowed, as I heard the guide instructor shout from across the field…. “DON’T LET HER EAT. BRING HER ON!”…
“Well how in the world do you suggest I stop him from eating?!?!? And why do you keep calling Bobby a her?!?!?” I asked, frustrated because Bobby was giving me such a hard time and frustrated for Bobby that they kept referring to him as her.
“Bobby is a girl!” the guide informed me. WELL THAT EXPLAINED EVERYTHING…. So much for non-temperamental and easy-going. I imagine I’d be difficult too if I (being a girl) was named Bobby with a “y” and had to endure a 2 hour wet trail in the heat with a rookie on my back.
Walking Bobby was a challenge, but she and I had a nice long discussion about my expectations for this trail ride. “Listen Bobby, we clearly got off to a rough start. We just need to get along for the next two hours, and I need for you to make sure you keep me on your back for the duration of this ride. Now we’ve got to come to an understanding here…I’ll forgive you for practically dragging me across this field and for slapping me in the face with your tail if you’ll forgive me for calling you a him. Now let’s do this!!!” (lol… I am officially the horse whisperer.) After a few soft strokes on the nose, I was saddled and ready to go.
The trail leader instructed me that the bridle in Bobby’s mouth would direct her to where I wanted her to go. I was amazed that I had more control riding her using the bridle than I did walking her. James 3:3 says, “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.”
For the tongue to be such a small member of the body, it carries more power than most bigger members. For the most part, Bobby had this trail down well. However there were a few areas where I had to redirect her due to a combination of slippery slopes (from rain the day before) mixed with steep cliffs that I had no intentions of chancing. Every now and then I had to avoid Bobby running me into trees that she herself had cleared (Really Bobby?).
Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
Bobby taught me a valuable lesson. It was extremely difficult having to walk Bobby in my own strength trying to guide her entire body. Yet I found it to be no sweat to use the bridle in her mouth to get her to move. When the tongue is controlled it can be beneficial in guiding our entire being in the right direction. However, when it’s not controlled it can lead to destruction. Proverbs 18:21 (NCV) says, “What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded.”
My goal is to be intentional about the words I speak. I choose to speak LIFE!
Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a HONEYCOMB, SWEETNESS to the SOUL and HEALTH to the BODY.”