I’m not usually one to quote church sermons in this blog, but this one hit me right between the eyes. (Busted! Thinking about horses during church) . . . and it was one of those profound connections that came via Mr. Mark (a.k.a. Mark Burrows, and his Children’s First Service (at the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth) that always, for me, hits the nail on the head better than anything else I hear. And this is my Christmas Post, after all, so here we go.
Mr. Mark’s message to the kids was about how people (adults!) during the holidays always rush around in a state of misplaced urgency — shopping, decorating, wrapping and baking,.etc. (Yes, I know that’s the only all this magical stuff happens, but stay with me here) He said that kids, on the other hand, get it. The whole season of advent is, by Design, supposed to be a time of waiting, watching and wonder of all the amazing, magical good things that unfold each holiday season. To kids, of course, a lot of this is about the gifts under the tree; as adults we also recognize the many other wondrous gifts that show up this time of year. We just have to learn to wait for them, watch for them, and when we see one, stop for a moment to appreciate its wonder.
Applying that to working with horses, I began to think about how sometimes we get a misplaced sense of urgency, working on this or that, measuring our progress with benchmarks — our incremental progress to whatever goals we have set for ourselves and our horses. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so caught up in solving problems, going to the next level, and making the progress I deem important that I forget to just slow down, watch to see what unfolds, and just give in to the wonder of it all. Having these magnificent animals as companions and teachers at this stage of life is an opportunity for joy and enlightenment far beyond what I imagined when I began this journey.
So in this season of advent, I wish for all of you a moment of wonder as you look at your Midlife Horses, a celebration of wherever you are on your trail, and for the coming year, a continuation of the spirit of Advent that will keep us in a state of waiting, watching and wonder at all the delights this journey has to offer.
Merry Christmas, Y’all!