For about a year or two I took regular horseback riding lessons. Every time I would get on a horse, it was a spiritual discipline for me. As much as I loved riding, as much as I admired those incredible, beautiful animals, I never quite lost my fear of horses. They are really big. And they can be unpredictable, strong-willed, even dangerous.
So I had to say a prayer or two, and I had to stay focused. Horseback riding was no time for me to be multi-tasking. It required my entire attention, and it went best when I gave it my all.
The funny thing is, I think you can say the same about being a disciple of Christ. Certainly, you can say the same about being a community of disciples, engaged in mission to the world.
Sometimes God’s call to mission comes in the form of a big idea, an unpredictable opportunity, with strong-willed people, maybe even some dangerous acts of love and compassion. Sometimes we quake in our boots as we offer the liberating love of Christ within our community.
So we need to stay focused. We need to offer our entire attention and to give the endeavor our all.
I am reminded of this little bit of advice for those who would not only ride, but also jump on horseback. When asked by a reporter how anyone could possibly take a horse through a series of hurdles and obstacles, one trainer put it simply, You just throw your heart over the fence, and then jump after it.
Good advice for hunter/jumpers, I think. And even better advice for followers of Christ.