Enjoy the Ride, Or Not!

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So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.

Ecclesiates 2:24-25

 

I grew up fascinated with horses; I grew up in Houston. The two did not go together too well. No matter how much I pleaded, I just could not have a horse. So my mother did the next best thing. She drove me faithfully, every Saturday morning, 45 minutes one way to Westheimer Stables where I rented a horse for one hour.  Every week it was the same, the horse plodded away from the barn at a rate that would make a sloth jealous.  No matter how much prodding I did,  no matter how hard I kicked, I could never get them to break into a trot leaving the barn. I took, what seemed to me , like forever to get anywhere.  Every week, I hoped, this would be the Saturday I was successful in getting the horse to go even a little bit faster. Every week, I failed.

Returning to the barn,  however, was totally different. What took 50 minutes to cover at a walk, now took 10 to cover at a gallop.  No matter how hard I tried, I could never get them to do anything less than all out gallop. I grew to love that part. It only lasted a few minutes but it was the highlight of my week (once I got over being scared).

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Looking back, I can’t help but wonder about what seems so obvious now. Why spend so much time trying to change something I couldn’t change? Why not instead, sit back and relax and enjoy the slow, seemingly tedious walk away from the stables. If I had, maybe that part of the ride wouldn’t seem so frustrating.  Maybe with a little practice, I would have noticed enjoyable things along the way  – the sun on my face, the rhythm of the horse, the wonderful sound of hooves on the ground.  Who knows what wonders I missed? Those rides took place nearly 45 years ago and yet, I can remember them like they were yesterday.

King Solomon, considered an incredibly wise man, penned that verse in Ecclesiates after a lifetime of pondering the mysteries of life.  He concluded that we are to enjoy our life and our work.  Regardless of how tedious it might be or how unlike we would have ever imagined our days being, enjoying our life honors the one who gave us life.

What if we learned to find the beauty and grace in ordinary moments, would that change the ride into something more enjoyable?  What if we develop an attitude of gratitude for the small and large blessings we have, would that bring us a more joyful frame of mind?

Father, thank You for showering me with blessings. Forgive me for the times I fail to enjoy them or even notice them. Help me to slow down and enjoy the ride even when it seems tedious.  I pray for help to see Your hand more and more in my life, in Jesus’s name, amen.

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.

pic credit: radeklibel.com

pic credit: sprucepets.com

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