Why People Love Horses, But Not Christians?

I love horses. Seldom does a beast embody such a co-mingling of danger and beauty. In fact, the reason why I love motorcycles is because the motorcycle is the closest modern man can get to the horse.  


I have never been trained in riding horses, but every time I get a chance to ride one, I never let is pass. The last time I rode a horse, I fell off him as we were racing down a gravel-laden mountain trail. I nudged the horse to speed-up, but he got nudged a little too much. I did a mistake and the right stirrup came off. I fell and slid about 15 feet on the gravel ground . I had to be carried off to the hospital. It was the pure grace of God that none of my bones were broken.

Last weekend, when I was at Rocky Mountains Colorado, I got another chance to ride a horse. I couldn’t resist the tug. But deep within, I was pretty scared. I didn’t want to risk another accident. On the other hand, it was a challenge I couldn’t resist.  My yearning for the dangerous power and beauty of the horse got the better of me. My horse was called ‘Big Block’, for a good reason. Eager to befriend him, I tried to talk to ‘Big Block’. I patted him. I used cuddly language. But Big Block didn’t give a damn about me. He didn’t even look at me. ‘Memories’ of the old accident where wrenching me.

We started on our trails. Big Block was disobedient. He was the most unruly of all the other horses on the trail. I was very cautious and made certain that I was safe on the saddle till the end. When I safely got to the end, I asked a cowboy guide who came with us, “Why is Big Block sort of unruly?” He replied, “Oh, he is just trying to test your will. He is seeing how much he can push you. You have to be FIRM with him, then he’ll obey.” Basically, I had to exercise my ‘dominion’ over him, which I didn’t because I was afraid of spooking him into dumping me.

Looking back, the problem with my less fulfilling horse-back riding was not Big Block. It was I – I had too small a goal. My goal in riding Big Block was to make sure that I was safe. I never intended to exercise ‘dominion’ over him as I should have. I was making sure I wouldn’t fail. I was caught in my own prison of ‘small goals’. I had allowed ‘memories’ of my old mistakes and hurt to prevent me from risking bigger goals and enjoying Big Block to the fullest.

God created man to exercise ‘dominion’ over creation. But man messed it up in the Garden. Christ ‘invaded’ the messed up world and gave us 
1) A new script of freedom 
2) A new authority to exercise dominion 
3) A new a partnership with Him. 


Unfortunately, we still live in the ‘memories’ of the old man who messed things up. Being fearful, we shoot for the lowest common denominator – avoid sin. The highest goal of most good Christians is the lowest common denominator – live a life without sin.

Christians need to move out of their ‘small goal’ prison and exercise ‘dominion’ over the world. We need to start ethical corporations, build compassionate hospitals, revive the crumbling education systems, write good novels, paint sublime pictures, compose great music, show Hollywood how good movies are to be made – build the Kingdom of Heaven. Matt 11:12 – the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.


Being sophisticated, we the modern Christians, do not wish to be violent. We want to be ‘nice’ people. We cautiously shoot for a ‘small goal’ – of avoiding all sin by withdrawing into a Christian Ghetto. Our guiding principles are 
1) Safely saddle the Christian bandwagon that is on it way to heaven 
2) Don’t do ANYTHIG that will risk falling off 
3) Don’t do ANYTHING that is dangerous 
4) Just stay safe until you get to heaven 


This is precisely why bland modern Christians, in comparison with the pre-modern kingdom-conquering counterparts, aren’t dangerous or beautiful. Of course, the horses are better loved!

RIP

I was speaking with a friend over coffee on Saturday. We were talking about books and movies and politics as I do with most of my friends. But then the conversation shifted to music and musicals and operas. I was out of depth. I felt excited and challenged in a good way though, because suddenly I had something new I wanted to learn and in the following few days, I did learn some fascinating facts about music… 🙂 

Going back, On Saturday, I came home and as I was journaling, I was wondering why I hadn’t really learned to pummel the depths of music. I just ‘passively’ listen to everyone from ‘Black Eye Peas’ to BoneyM to Beethoven to Bach. I remember when I was a kid my mother did everything she could do to get me to have piano lessons. She even arranged for a tutor to come home and teach me. My naive rationale to not wanting to learn the music lessons was, “I have a mind that is keener than my ear. So it makes sense for me to invest in things that have to do with my thinking. I think learning music would take time away from my being able to accomplish something great with this mind of mine.” 
I preferred to be the master of one trade instead of being the jack of a bunch. I wanted to master all knowledge. My goal was to know everything about everything in life. Now, looking back, it just makes me smile at my own folly. I can’t quite see that I accomplished anything of what I wanted to with my supposedly ‘keen mind’. I had over-analyzed and misunderstood the benefits of learning music. Or maybe I was too lazy to invest in something that did not come naturally to me. Or maybe I was just too obsessed with a goal of wanting to know everything about everything. I missed an opportunity.
Looking back, I see my life is filled with ‘hits’ and ‘misses’. More misses than hits. 😛 There are things I should have done which I have left undone. There are things which I oughtn’t have done which I have done. But at the end of the day, one thing I know is this. The marking on my tombstone will read ‘Rests in Peace’. For, no matter what I did or did not do, or will do or won’t do, I know that I’ll ultimately be ‘content’ in the Lord. 
After all, this life is NOT about ME. All of life’s a stage that belongs to the Lord. Men and Women play their parts to the heavenly audience that applaud the grandeur of the Master Director. It is not so much about what I accomplish in life (or my ‘hits’ and ‘misses’). Life is really about me playing my part in the ‘Story of the Lord’, which at the worldly level is the story of His ‘covenant community’. Whatever my part, whether it be to be the CEO or the Cobbler, it shall all be done for the glory of the Lord the Master Director.
In life, we struggle in the ‘tension’ between ambition and moderation, taking initiative and doing what is right. We need to remember what our last line on the Stage would be – ‘Rests In Peace’. We’ll be supremely satisfied to see the Lord ultimately glorified on the Stage, the Cosmos. The Master Director will have brilliantly turned our ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ into a Cosmic Story-line that ultimate glorifies of His Name. We are PROMISED in the Scriptures that the Lord Himself shall be our REWARD. His glory would be so beautiful that we’ll be lost in adoration. We would be totally satisfied. We would ‘Rest in Peace’ with no regrets for having missed what we thought we didn’t want to miss. 

When we pray and read the Bible, we have he foretaste of this PROMISED REWARD. We need to press hard towards the goal, looking forward at the PROMISED Reward as we have our little foretastes of it in the minor theophanies we experience in this life. My problem of not knowing everything about everything couldn’t have had a better solution.