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Tightening the Reins

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. 
Philippians 4:8

Not everything is like riding a bicycle. Some things you have to relearn.

Recently our family vacationed at a Colorado dude ranch where the majority of the afternoons were spent riding horses. I remembered riding as a teenager and felt confident when I mounted Magi.

As we departed from the stable, the wrangler reminded us that the way we interacted with our horses could train them to act better. He encouraged us to take charge, adding, “And whatever you do, don’t let them snack.”

At first I noticed Magi snatching a blade of grass here, a flower or two there. I tugged at the reins a few times, but he didn’t get the message. I called his name, but learned he didn’t speak Texan. Soon we settled into this pattern. Step, snack, tug, snack, repeat.

Finally, the wrangler spoke up. “Anticipate his head dropping and tighten the reins before he pulls.” I tried that for a while and it worked. Success. Then a few minutes later, I heard crunching. He had nearly yanked a whole bush from the ground. I chuckled. The wrangler did not.

“Remember, you’re training him for tomorrow. Take charge.”

After a few more rides, Magi and I did find a happy medium. He needed constant reminding to keep his head up, and I needed constant reminding to remind him.

And that reminds me of this. My mind is easily drug down toward worry, anxiety and sin. I must train it to lift my thoughts to the things of God. It doesn’t happen on day one. It doesn’t happen in a week or even a year. But the more I tighten the reins, the more my mind will find a resting place in Truth.

Father, thank You that when I fix my eyes on Jesus, I find purpose, joy and peace. Help me train my mind to stay focused on You.


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