Most Everything I Know About People I Learned From Horses. #2
We use 4 keywords in our teaching: Confidence, Consistency, Compassion and Connection.
CONFIDENCE: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper & effective way
CONSISTENCY: uniform or persistent occurrence or re-occurrence
COMPASSION: involves tenderness & understanding
CONNECTION: a union, to join, link or bond
Compassion I believe is an important part of our relationship with our horses. We could also call it insight, patience, generosity or an understanding, of what is going on in the horses head. We learn it by observation and listening to the questions that the horse is asking or the messages that his body language and eyes are telling us. This skill is more natural for some than others.
It's like the ancient Greek story about that mean tempered, irritable, and dangerous horse, Bucephalus. All who attempted to ride Bucephalus quickly found themselves sitting on the ground. Then one day Alexander the Great studied the great horse's habits and discovered why he was so hard to get near. Bucephalus was afraid of his own shadow. Knowing that, Alexander mounted, and rode him straight in the direction of the sun. With his shadow behind him, out of sight, Bucephalus lost his fear, and Alexander broke him to the saddle. And that's how Alexander the Great made one more conquest, over another's fear.
If we would take our time to study the horses habits we would better control our emotions and mind to work with our horses. The difficult horse has more things to study and takes more time to have compassion and understanding.
Most of the people who make your life difficult are themselves scarred by fears and pains that you may never know about, and even they may never fully understand and conquer. But you don't have to let your life be controlled by their failures and limitations any more than by your own. You can find the courage to turn the other cheek, to live the transformed life, to learn to manage all the inner controls at your command.
Think of yourself as having a "control center" inside your brain, just like the controls that an airplane fighter pilot sees before him. There are all these buttons and levers and gauges around you, and one of these is an ejection seat button for use in emergencies. Now some people apparently operate their control centers as if they only knew how to operate this one button. I mean, every situation is an emergency bailout! Gone is the freedom, the flexibility, and the power that comes from knowing how to operate all the controls at your command.
Perhaps this picture can give us a better way of seeing what is meant by the directive to "have the mind of Christ." Now here is someone who could certainly stay in touch with all the possibilities at His command. You don't ever see Him grabbing for the ejection button, no matter what the crisis, no matter what the threat.
No, Jesus exerted control in an entirely new way. If an enemy compels you to go with him one mile, he says, go with him two. That way, you're still in control. If someone strikes you on one cheek, you don't give in and let that one person make the choice of weapons; you turn the other cheek, and refuse to play his game, and you stay in control. The other person's behavior doesn't have to dictate your behavior.
So now we don't have to play out life as the victim. We don't have to go around picking fights or running away from them. We can be "strong in the strength which God supplies."
Here is what Jesus said in Luke 6:31-37 (The Message)
31-34 "Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
35-36 "I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never-I promise-regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
37-38 "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults- unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back-given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting is the way. Generosity begets generosity."