Read the blog title again- do you get it?
If not… ask someone.
~ Now back to your regularly scheduled program ~
I went horseback riding the other day for the first time. I surprised my girlfriend for her birthday, and took her, and it was a total blast!! Not only did I immensely enjoy myself, but she had the time of her life, and that (being the point) was completely epic.
There were a few disturbing parts of course- have you ever seen a horse pee? It’s like the Iron Giant punched a hole in the Hoover Dam… Not pretty…
Nevertheless, we got on top of these magnificent beasts and I immediately caught a faint glimpse of just how powerful these creatures are. Those of you who have been horseback riding already know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who haven’t… Imagine riding in Hummer- all that power, and capability – but the Hummer has a mind all its own. Your only means of control is a rope looped around the mouth and neck, and the strength of your heels. It’s incredible – a bit knee-knocking I admit – but concurrently amazing.
I had the distinct pleasure of being atop the one horse with enhanced self awareness and a rebellious streak… This would not have been such a travesty had I not been intent on also impressing my girlfriend. Lol The guide had given us the basic instructions on how to control the horses, and then led us out of the corral. The idea was to stand still (you and your horse) while he went around and adjusted the stirrups… MY nut job of a horse thought it might be funny to keep jerking her head down with my hand still wrapped in the reins (as directed by our guide) causing me to jerk up and down.
…. Eventually I just adjusted my grip on the reins, against what the guide had said, so that she could jerk all she liked with the slack.
The guide then cheerfully informed me that I was atop the lead horse, so go ahead to the front and start up the trail. I dipped my head in acknowledgement, secured a manly grip on the reins, and summoned the spirit of cowboys everywhere before delivering a very masculine and sturdy kick to the midsection of the horse.
I figured out later (after experimenting) that my technique was all wrong.
Anyway- the guide grabbed my horse and led her to the trail… soon as he let go, she decided she didn’t want to go anymore and began turning around. That’s where I got my first real experience on how powerful this creature was- a simple rein tug was insufficient. I had to yank with all I had in the direction I wanted her to go, before she would follow that guidance and forge ahead along the trail… And it was at this point that I grasped the parallel that spawned this blog.
Controlling a horse is eerily reminiscent to controlling your destiny.
If you really excogitate upon what destiny is- the length, width, and breadth of it- you will see that a mere human simply lacks the necessary strength to control something like that. Destiny is essentially the fulfillment of your purpose on this earth- including every trial you go through, every tear, every pain, every joy, every person affected (for as many generations as they affect)… everything. And we think we can CONTROL that? Not so, says The Wordsmith… Not so.
Can we influence destiny? Without a doubt. Do we have a hand in its shaping? Indubitably. But pure control? No siree..
Destiny is a wild force intended to be guided, yet without restraint, for it knows the destination.
That’s what I learned on the horse… There was not going to be any pimping going on. She wasn’t playin that. She (the horse) had her will, and I had mine… but she knew the trail and I didn’t. So it became a balancing act of power and trust. She yielded to me when I directed her away from distraction, and I yielded to her when she bucked her head. It sometimes took a little doing (on both parts), but that is how it played out. Another lesson came to mind.
A tight grip on the reins will get you thrown from the saddle.
Had I been insistent that the horse do things my way, and not cut any slack, I would’ve been thrown from the saddle. Keeping a chokehold on the reins would’ve thrown me into a fight with the very creature I needed to depend upon to get me to my destination. An unyielding press upon your destiny will cause you to enter into a fight that was never intended to be between you and yourself, and you and God.
Determination to attain a certain goal is one thing… stiff-necked dictatorship is quite another matter altogether. Determination is flexible- less concerned with the means and sacrifices required along the way, and more focused on getting there.
Here’s another spin.. Your destiny- your life purpose, intended reasons for being on this planet, the change that you were placed on this world to make – is BIGGER than you. In every regard. If it wasn’t, then you would be less than human, because you would be a flawed species on earth with no attainable purpose. It is the very striving after, and hands on experience of guiding/following your destiny to fruition that validates our humanity.
Keep a loose hand about the reins- an overly firm grip turns into a brittle one.
Just as I learned to respect the beast- respect the process of destiny. It seems tame and in control, but underneath the calm veneer is unfathomable power that reins can’t really restrain.
Moses, Harriet Tubman, Jesus, Rosa Parks, George Lucas, MLK… the power of realized (and unchoked) destiny.
Focused Determination + Open Mind