Whether it’s the parable of the talents and the virgins with their lamps or the references from the prophets and the nation of Israel, a special emphasis is placed on readiness.
Through my years riding and training horses, I’ve come to understand numerous lessons of faith. Many fundamentals of horsemanship parallel fellowship with Christ. One piece of my horsemanship career that has influenced my walk with God that I would like to share is something called “collection.”
It’s a particular posture a horseman will ask of her mount, commonly referred to as “collection” in natural horsemanship. The rider’s heels come in and hands come back, while the horse’s neck curves down and back muscles round to engage the hindquarters.
The virtues I prize the most from a horse aren’t speed, strength, or spirit; rather, the speed at which they respond to my touch, the strength to follow my lead, and a spirit given over to responsiveness.
When you’re riding a horse and they collect properly beneath you… I can’t begin to describe to you the amount of power in your hands. A thousand-pound animal becomes weightless; every muscle and thought is ready to do what’s asked.
Collection isn’t doing something as much as it is a readiness to do anything – real power and true peace.
When the world is on fire, everything is going wrong, and I’m on my last nerve, I collect myself to the Lord. I set my shoulders back, lower my head, and take a deep breath.
I don’t always pray when I do this, but I take a moment.
When I collect myself to the Lord, I am placing myself in a posture of readiness for Him. In this I find peace, and, more often than not, it turns into a good day to be alive… because I’m living for Him.
This connection with the Lord also fills the Bible – Old and New Testaments, both.
“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:1–2 (ESV)