Robust imagination feeds life shared with Jesus Christ and horses. Nature is both work surface and buffet for seekers of truth, lovers of all things equine, and the passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ. Imagination produces a warm cocoon of relationship with forests, fields, and the creatures who call them home.
Great equestrians, whether accomplished in competitive arenas or home pasture develop skills and insight by doing and imagining. Strides are taken on real horses and ridden in the imagination. Years ago General Silver carried me to victory every time we entered the show pen in trail class. With limited outings General earned Top Ten in the nation status.
We practiced at home and I rode every course multiple times before being judged. I visualized each course the moment it was posted. Once set up I imagined placing General’s striped hooves in the precise place necessary to complete each obstacle well. When the spacing didn’t work in my head I made adjustments and practiced again. When our number was called General and I confidently rode the course like it was an old friend. Imagination produced success.
Faith-filled Christ-followers practice progressive sanctification in the very presence of Jesus and in thoughtful contemplation. Imagination is powered by the spirit. Physical bodies, whether human or equine, require precise and orderly conditioning to perform higher or more complex tasks. Properly structured practice (repeated regularly) produces habit, muscle memory, and new skills to build stronger and higher foundations. Strength of spirit is also the result of structured practice.
Nature is sacramental to Christ-followers. “Learn to associate ideas worthy of God with all that happens in Nature – the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the stars, the changing seasons, and your imagination will never be at the mercy of your impulses, but will always be at the service of God.” (Oswald Chambers)
Horses serve as messengers of truth
Success with horses is found in the presence of horses, not watching videos or reading online posts like this one. You will never experience the delight of relationship with a horse without horse hair, slobber, and manure. Immediately test any inspiration you may get from it in the barn or in your prayer closet. The only source of truth is God. Horses are a singular blessing to us because they are messengers of truth.
There is no more accurate barometer of human character than a horse. We can’t buy a horses’s respect, focus, willingness, affection, or commitment. It is earned by who we are and how closely our spirit matches our behavior. Nature is teacher, friend, provider, and judge. Our walk and talk must agree and proof of worthiness is always found in the fruit.
Success is a horse with more faith in you than fear of its surrounding. Success is a horse that tries just because you asked. Success is peace produced by greater faith in Christ than fear of the world. Success is boldly walking into the unknown simply because Jesus asked.
Nature expounds on God’s glory. Satan lures us into virtual worlds of social media, electronics, apps, and videos. You can’t ride a horse you can’t touch. You can’t imagine the smell of horse, the texture of a slick summer coat, or the touch of a velvety nose if your brain is bombarded with sights and sounds emanating from an inanimate screen. You can’t imagine the quiet, peace, and spiritual experience of Jesus by reading a Bible verse on your smart device over coffee in a crowded Starbucks.
Victory by Imagination
One day you will be tested. Victory in Jesus comes from real time spent in His company. For the moment we only touch Jesus in our imagination. Thomas needed to see His nail-pierced hands and touch His riven side. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Imagination is faith harnessed and perfected by those who have not seen and yet believe.
Are you prepared for the test? Is your imaginary life in the presence of Christ strong enough to carry you to victory? Can you fly to Jesus’ side in a heartbeat from habit? If the world collapses in darkness, can you still ride the precise trail to Jesus? When He calls your name will the way be as familiar as an old friend?
Relationships strengthen by time spent together. Embrace Nature as God’s classroom and playground. Share quiet time with your horse feeling the breeze on your cheek. Listen for the rhythm of God’s music. You are greatly blessed if your ears still hear it.