Little Secrets

by Kevin on February 24, 2010

One of the greatest things I enjoy is teaching people how to ride horses. I have helped my kids, my wife, my sisters, and even my brother by giving them little secrets that I have learned over the years.

Riding a horse isn’t easy.

Most newcomers want to sit on the horse while it moves. Their idea of riding is just staying on and not falling off. While staying on is a good thing, there is a lot more to riding than just sitting on your pockets. You have to learn how to feel what the horse is doing.

I teach my kids to look straight ahead and tell me when each foot is hitting the ground without looking down. When they are loping, they must be able to tell me what lead the horse is in. My kids are starting to learn and become pretty good riders. They like to critique old western movies now. They will tell me, “Dad, that cowboy needs to get out of that horse’s mouth!  He’s got him all pulled up and still asking him to go.”

The thing about teaching somebody to ride is that you can tell someone and tell someone and tell someone every secret that you know. But those secrets are just information until the person is able to put them into practice. I would tell my daughter to sit down and use the inside of her legs kind of like shock absorbers so she didn’t bounce around so much while trotting. I explained this concept forty different times and fifty different ways and she said that she understood every time.

She would get out there and do nothing but bounce around on the horse. I would tell her again the advice that I had just given her. She would then say what every teenage girl in America and probably the world says, “I am doing that!”

Obviously she wasn’t doing what I told her.

She was bouncing around like mexican jumpin’ bean on a trampoline. She would tell me that she was doing what I told her and then come over to the fence and ask me why she was still bouncing around. I would tell her and she would say, “But I was doing that just like you told me too.” I would shrug and say, “Go try again.”

My heart races as I turn toward the scream for Dad. I whirl around ready to react to whatever danger is occurring. Reilly yells at me, “Look, I ain’t bouncing no more.” I don’t tell her that she has nearly given me a heart attack. She just wanted to be sure that I turned around fast in case she went back to bouncing.

When she was through riding, she told me, “I thought I understood what you meant when you told me the secret to quit bouncing. It turns out that I was trying to do it my way instead of your way. Just by accident, I finally figured out the secret. But then I realized that it wasn’t a secret, you had been trying to tell me how to do it the whole time.” I told her that hearing it and putting it into practice is two different things.

There are certain things in life that people can tell you and tell you and tell you, but they can’t do it for you. Most of the time when you tell them, they respond with “I am doing it that way.” But they keep bouncing and bouncing and bouncing and fooling no one but themselves.

Mark 4:21-23
Jesus went on: “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open. Are you listening to this? Really listening?”

From Cowboy Devotionals to billboards to little children’s honesty, we hear the word of God nearly everyday if we listen close. There was a Spanish guy that spent his whole life looking for the fountain of youth so he could live forever. Jesus hasn’t kept the way of living forever a secret. It’s all throughout the best selling book of all time–the Bible.

Just like my daughter and her trotting horse, we often times hear the secret and then dismiss it because we think our way is better. Don’t ever forget that Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through the Son.” We are lost. We lie to ourselves. And we deserve death for the things that we’ve done. But thank God for his Son that has shown us the way, truth, and the life–and the kept no secrets.

Are you really listening?
Kevin Weatherby, Pastor
Pecos County Cowboy Church
Campfire Cowboy Ministries
Below is the Memorial service for Betty
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