horse riding, horses

Skip the Jump

My oldest daughter is passionate about riding horses which means we spend hours at the barn each week.

One Saturday morning we attended a horse show. We watched as a girl was jumping a line of two jumps. The horse jumped over the first crossbars and then refused the second jump. The girl circled the horse to redo the jump. Her trainer yelled for her to skip the first jump and go straight to the second one.

The girl nodded as if she heard the direction. She completed her circle and steered the horse over the first jump. The horse yet again shied away from the second jump. The horse and rider circled again, the trainer yelled the same thing, “just jump the second jump.”

The girl headed towards the jump and jumped over both jumps this time. I was glad to see she had gotten the horse to jump over both jumps, yet she hadn’t taken the trainer’s advice. Both times she nodded her head as if she comprehended what the trainer said. Both times she ignored the advice of the trainer.

This reminds me of our faith journey. Have there been times in your life when God tells you to skip the jump? You hear Him. You understand what He is saying, yet you can’t resist the temptation to go over the jump.

Why do we do this? Why do we ignore the advice of our wise and loving God? He has our best interests at heart, yet sometimes we think we know best.

Just like the trainer and rider didn’t seem to be on the same page that day, we often can miss the playbook God has written. We make up our own course and ride it out. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

God is like that trainer, showing us the correct path to take, yet forgiving us when we go astray. He molds us and grows us with each mess up we make.

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Diving In

I recently took my kids for swim lessons. With summer approaching and swim team on the cusp, I figured it was the perfect time to refine their skills. It had been a while since they had been in the pool.

I looked up to see one of my kids diving in. The first dive of the season is always a little awkward. By the end of the season, she is a diving fool. The first dive is full of reluctance. It’s more like a jump with her head tucked and arms arched forward. She lands vertical, feet hitting the water first.

You can see by her form she’s intending to dive and after a few more practices, she enters the pool headfirst and exudes more confidence. The jumping dive is quickly replaced by a real dive.

This reminds me of our faith journey. When we ask Jesus into our lives and start reading our Bible, we nod our head at what it says. We agree with the words. We understand what to do, but when it comes to diving in, we are kinda like my daughter diving for the first time that season. We are awkward and not sure how.

We have our heads tucked and arms out, but we can’t plunge in headfirst. We do the same thing my daughter does, some kind of dive/jump. Or we don’t get in at all and just stand there reluctantly on the sideline wanting to get in, knowing we need to, but not able to take the plunge.

One dive at a time we get more comfortable. As we continue to seek God through prayer and Scripture, He continues to fill us with His plan, His courage, His will. Our first jumps are uncomfortable, but we do them anyway.

As we act in obedience, we see His presence with us. The dives become easier. We don’t stand on the sideline anymore; we dive in knowing He will take care of the rest.

The first time I sent out my first blog (in obedience to Him). I closed my eyes and cringed as I hit the publish button. It seemed so official. I hope I wouldn’t get rejected.

Now I hit submit, knowing if I mess up, I can go back and edit. If people don’t like what I wrote, they can delete it.

It’s not about me, it’s about Him. The more I practice obedience, the easier it becomes and the more I can be a vessel used by Him in this world.

Oh, our loving Father is so amazing.

Don’t stand on the sideline anymore. Take the dive! God won’t push you in, but He will show you the way once you take the plunge.