Christian Author Donna Fawcett/Dawson

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Lessons from the Farm

Posted by Donna Dawson on June 30, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Where It All Began

by Donna Fawcett (c) 2007


I suppose my fascination with farming began back in my single digit years. I remember the day clearly. My uncle had a show horse by the name of Royal. Since I had been bitten by the horse bug in vitro, it was inevitable that I would ask if I could ride said horse. The response–"if you can saddle the old coot you can ride ‘im.”


I’m one for a challenge. Never mind the fact that I was probably closer to four feet tall than five feet. Never mind that I was wearing flip flops and shorts. Never mind that the saddle outweighed me by half again my weight. And so, with much cajoling, I suckered my cousin into helping me lift the heavy contraption of leather and wood up onto the waiting back of the tall animal.


No one told me that a saddle had to fit snug–that it had to be drawn tight around the girth. No one told me that it required a great amount of balance to stay in the saddle at the best of times–never mind the one time that it sat with loose and dangling straps and buckles. And I’m not so sure I would have listened anyway. The call of the wild pulsed through my arteries giving me a high that no narcotic could ever touch.


I pulled the horse over to the fence and scrabbled up onto the top most rail. With a mighty jump, I hurled myself onto that saddle and clutched a handful of mane to keep from sailing over the other side. I’d done it.  I’d mounted the great and majestic Royal and my cousin stood on and watched in impressed silence.


The silence gave way to a soft chuckle as I nudged Royal away from the rail. It appeared that from where my cousin stood, the horse moved but the saddle didn’t--as though the equine beast walked out from under it. The cinch strap hit the gelding’s nether parts and that’s when things went south.


Ever wonder why bucking broncos buck so hard? Notice a strap tied around their loin area? There’s a reason for that strap. It kind of tightens around certain parts of the equine anatomy and causes the urge to jump around as though the horse is wearing a diaper full of ants. Well a saddle cinch can have the same kind of effect. And did.


I’m sure I stayed on the full eight seconds before the saddle came unglued. Both I and the leathery contraption found ourselves airborne–but not nearly long enough. If I had my way, I’d still be hovering ever so gently over that paddock; bucking horse cavorting around harmlessly beneath me. But what goes up must come down. We–the saddle and I–landed with a cracking thud. I saw stars–and then hooves. I scrambled to free my feet of the stirrups and  rolled under the fence while my uncle’s saddle received a thorough trouncing.


One would think that I would get quite a tongue lashing over such an ordeal. My uncle seemed to think it worth the price of a saddle just to hear my cousin tell the tale. And so my journey into the agri-world began.


So what is the point of this aged tale?  I suppose one word could sum it up:  research.  Had I taken the time to ask questions--to do some digging--to go to the source for information, I would have saved myself pain and humiliation.  Doesn't that sound familiar?  How often do we step into life without thinking about what we are doing?  We bungle.  We fail.  We hurt and are humiliated when all we needed to do was go to the Source--the One who created us and has the power to guide us.  We blame God for our failures but do we bother to study his word to find out if we could have done something differently?  The next time we step out into our personal adventures we might consider checking the manual for life first.  It might just save us some heartache. 


Categories: theology in the raw

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