If you want to appreciate life, start here.

by Kevin on May 25, 2010

There comes a point in your life that you get so  used to doing certain things or feeling a certain way that it just becomes second nature. This was the case after breaking horses for about two solid years.

I don’t generally like to ride other people’s horses. That was why I was reluctant when I was offered the chance to ride a spade bit horse. For all the townies out there, a spade bit horse is like driving a car from the future compared to riding Moses’ donkey. Spade bit horses go through years of training and will turn and go and stop nearly with just a thought.

“Wait a minute Kevin!” I had just put my foot in the stirrup and was about to swing into the driver’s seat of this well trained animal when I was stopped. “This is a gentle, well trained horse,” Ralph said. I assured him that I could see that and then he asked why I looked like I was getting ready to ride a bull.

It seems as though I had unconsciously pulled my hat down tight, cheeked the horse around (this is what you do to broncs on the first couple of saddles), and even did some stretching, just like I did before I got on a horse that I thought was going to try to buck me off.

Even when I climbed into the saddle and trotted off, I could feel my old tendencies creep in. I was waiting for the big explosion. I expected the worst and I sure got it. I nearly fell off this horse about three or four times.

This durn horse was too well trained for me. I was used to plow reining young horses around. When I barely touched that horse’s neck with the reins, he turned so fast that I came within a slice of bread of falling off.

I finally relaxed and let him lope out. He didn’t try to run away with me or head back to the barn. This horse didn’t need me to ride him. I felt like I could have just wrote him a letter asking to go lope some circles and come back and I think he would have done it after he went and checked his post office box.

I accidentally leaned too far back in the saddle during that lope and the horse came to a screeching halt that sent me to screeching when the saddle horn and my zipper were the only things that kept me from going over the front. I finally had enough of nearly falling off this good horse and couldn’t wait to get back to the rank ones. I could ride them better.

I might not ever ride as good a horse as I rode that day. I think with a little time on his back, I could have gotten used to the quick turns and the even quicker stops. He sure made my little nags look like garbage. It gave me the opportunity to appreciate all the hard work Ralph and his horse had put in to get to that point.

In order to really appreciate something, we must first live without it. We can be thankful for some things without living without them, but heartfelt appreciation comes from doing without. Take the blind man in John 9 for example. He was born blind and had been reduced to begging in the street until Jesus came along.

Jesus went up to him and made some mud and rubbed it on the man’s eyes and then told him to go wash the mud off. When he did this, he could see for the first time in his life.

When Jesus was on earth, he was healing folks, feeding folks, raisin’ ’em from the dead, walking on water, and shootin’ the bull with Moses and Elijah, but most people didn’t believe in Him.

Doesn’t it seem just a little ironic that the “religious” folks of the day didn’t believe in Jesus, but a blind beggar did?

John 9:17

So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

It’s hard to appreciate a good horse unless you’ve rode a ton of knot heads. You don’t appreciate chaps until you get a thorn underneath your knee cap. You take your cowboy hat for granted until you blister the top of your nose and the tips of your ears. It’s hard to appreciate being found until you have been totally lost.

It took a former blind man to see Jesus when others had seen him for years. It took the death of God’s Son to give us life. It took Lazarus’ death before he could be raised from the dead. It took running out of wine before Jesus made some more.

If you have found that your life is just one big mess up after another, there is Good News. If it seems like life is one battle after another, then it is time for you to appreciate what’s been there for you all along. It’s time that you asked Jesus into your heart.

Like the great song lyrics go:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found

Was blind, but now I see.

cowboy church horse saddle up with jesusIf you want eternal life in heaven you must give your life on earth to God. There is no other way. Many cowboys have ridden with the devil long enough, it’s time to appreciate what Jesus did for you. He offered his life for yours. He traded his pain for your peace. He offers eternal life in exchange for your broken heart.

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  • Thanks for this great reminder today. 🙂

    PS – Your posts are too good to really comment on did you know that?

    • Kevin

      Right back at ya my friend. If anyone doesn’t believe me, they can go see for themselves at Sage’s blog.

  • This is such a great post, Kevin. I haven’t seen a bad one yet, so no surprise, but this one is particularly excellent. Hope you don’t mind–I’d like to link to it from my blog.

    Blessings, Cindy

    • Kevin

      Absolutely! Thanks, I would be more honored than you could ever imagine.

  • Kevin, I love reading your stories.

    I often wonder what I take for granted. I can’t count the number of times I have found myself frustrated with my children for what appears to by a lack of appreciation. But really, they don’t know any better. They have never had to do without food, clean clothes, or a roof over their head. I have to step back a lot of times and say, “How could they appreciate that? They’ve never had to live without ________.”

    • Kevin

      I finally broke down and bought my daughter a cell phone. She turned 13 on Friday and was probably one of the only kids her age that didn’t have a cell phone. She had been asking for one for nearly two years. When she finally got it, she said that it was worth the wait. She even told me that it was probably better if I put a two year limit on everything she wants. That way, she will be sure that she appreciates it.

  • Great way to show our need for the gospel, Kevin. You should put a link at the end of the post to your “Roamin’ Trail” presentation of the gospel message.

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