You Can Lead a Horse to Water …

“Kinetic” is a big horse. He’s an impressive animal, weighing in at about 1,500 pounds and standing over seventeen hands tall. At his size he could easily be intimidating, yet he is one of the sweetest horses I have ever known and really smart too. When I walk up to his stall and call out his name, he always pokes his face through the door expecting I’ll stroke his velvety soft muzzle. And when I ride him, he is not only extremely athletic and capable but he is also exceptionally responsive – continually offering to please. Ready to do whatever I ask.

That is until this week, when I presented him with a tasty concoction of carrots, apples, bran pellets and molasses laced with a necessary medication he was required to take. I disguised the medicine as best I could, mixing in all his favorite treats then dribbling more and more molasses until all I could smell was the heavy sweetness of the dark syrup. I was just sure he would gobble it up and smile appreciatively. But instead, he sniffed the pail full of pellets, took a tentative taste and politely refused to eat it. So I added a handful of alfalfa and mixed in even more molasses. He looked in, sniffed around and carefully picked out a few pieces of alfalfa. And then he did something really funny, he pawed at the pail completely frustrated and looked up at me irritated as if to say he was confounded that I could be so stupid to commingle all his favorite treats with medicine. I just laughed and apologized and told him that he needed to eat the stuff because it was good for him. Then I left him in his stall with the bucket and went home.

When I got in the car, I wondered if he actually would finally eat all the contents in the pail. I hoped he would – but he is a horse after all and no doubt you know the old adage ‘you can lead a horse to water … but you can’t make him drink.’ It really was up to Kinetic what to do with the contents of that bucket.

The more I thought about the situation, the more I realized I can be just like that horse. Everyday I am presented with the opportunity to do what is good for me. In a sense, when I read the Bible it’s like I am offered a pail of truth sweetened by God that will help me get the medicine I need to make me a loving person. A more joyful person. But sometimes I sniff around that truth and complain about how hard it is to swallow. I want the good parts of what God promises like peace and joy but I’d rather not do the hard stuff like be patient and selfless. And so sometimes I complain – I kick things around frustrated, hoping God will make life just a little easier for me. Just a tad more palatable please. But the bottom line is … it’s really up to me. I can choose to consume the truth and let it transform me or I can simply ignore it and refuse the benefit it brings.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about that whole premise and I’ve decided I’m going to follow Kinetic’s lead. Because I found out later in the day it only took him about an hour to lick that whole bucket clean.

I told you he’s a really smart horse.