There’s a line between wisdom and insanity that gets blurred, every time anyone willingly comes into contact with Shadow. He’s a kind, loving and obedient boy, but make a move he’s not expecting, and he’ll
snort, bolt and run. He’s the ultimate contradiction. A “kid broke” horse that kids can’t ride.
We love him. He’s beautiful. He’s a gentle herd leader. And he is truly something to see when he reaches top speed running across the pasture. But trust him? Not a chance! He doesn’t just spook, he spooks at the same things sometimes, not at all other times. When you expect him to spook, he doesn’t; and when you don’t expect it, he does. You can never be sure.
Shadow supposedly had lots of training before we bought him, and we were told he had worked at a kid’s camp for years. So, given that we were looking for a “kid broke” horse and he was ebony black and beautiful, we bought him. Paid money. From our perspective, quite a bit of money (relative to the budget) and we confidently brought him home to join our other (free) horses. They’re the ones that haven’t had much training, but can likely walk through a war zone with only a slight tremble or twitch. Shadow will run from his own lead rope.
It’s fear, plain and simple. We’re not sure why or what his history might be. He is a registered Tennessee Walker, with a long lineage of family champions, and there’s a strange little quirk about him when he sort of bounces up high before he trots; but what his early life must have been like before us is an unknown. What we do know is he is very afraid…not always… and not on any recognizable timetable… as best we can tell. It’s more like the movie, Groundhog Day. What he learns not to fear today, he will freak out over tomorrow.
And, this is why I now think we may all be just like him.
In an attempt to get Shadow some help from someone other than myself; I was making a video to submit to a master horse trainer, showing Shadow’s sporadic spooky behavior. As I was explaining how Shadow can be desensitized to scary objects one day, but is afraid of the same objects another day, the realization of what I was saying was not at all something I wanted to see in myself. But, unfortunately I think it’s true.
I get afraid. God calms my fears. I realize there was no reason to be afraid. And, then, confronted with the same things that scared me before, I’m afraid again. This is an agonizing epiphany. We worry about Shadow. We stress over Shadow. We don’t understand Shadow. We make fun of Shadow. And, yet, he’s a walking, talking testimony of what we need to work on in our own lives.
Let’s take money and bills for example, because that’s one of “my things” that causes me great fear. I’m afraid of a bill we can’t pay. God provides, as he tells us over and over in His Word that he will. The bill gets paid. I’m no longer afraid.
Then another bill comes. I look at our account and there’s not enough money to pay it. But, it comes due and somehow (thank you, God) it gets paid. I’m no longer afraid. Until…
Maybe it’s not money for you. Maybe you’re afraid of your mother-in-law…maybe it’s your boss…you’re afraid your husband is going to cheat on you even though he never has and never will…maybe you’re afraid to fly even though you’ve always landed safely. Yet, that SAME fear keeps coming back again and again. Shadow is a shining example of what happens. He’s supposed to be a “kid broke” horse and yet he can’t live out the life that was intended for him, because fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) has rendered him incapable.
You may have heard this before, but fear is the topic most often addressed in the Bible. Our fear is no surprise to God. He knew this was going to happen. He prepared all these many verses for us. Right now, I’m thinking, “If Shadow could only read,” but the fact is, I can read, and I have read the verses and it would probably help me to go read them again.
There is always going to be a bill coming due. And, until I learn not to be afraid the next time, God is going to have to desensitize me to it this time. He often turns up the heat until we can handle the pressure. Remember the Israelites 40 year journey around an eleven-mile mountain? God wants to get us where he wants us to go, more than we want to get where we want to go. But, we have to be willing to give up our unhealthy relationship with fear. Fear is an enemy intended to keep us from fulfilling our intended purpose.
We’re still trying to teach Shadow, but maybe now it’s just time to stop for a minute and learn from him. We can bolt and run, or we can hide under the shelter of God’s wings, and in doing so, be reminded that First John 4:18 says there is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear.
After all, a shadow is just an obstruction from THE LIGHT!
Who knew more about fear than David the shepherd boy?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!
Learning to turn away from the crooked road of fear
will lead us straight to the gateway of freedom.
Shadow and the tarp
© Copyright 2015, KeziahCarrie. All Rights Reserve
Comments on: "As I Walk through the Valley on Shadow" (2)
Really glad for the article in H& R that led me to your blog.
Thank you Nancy!! I must confess I have not posted much in a while. While I love to write, life sometimes takes over and I write more in my head than I ever get on paper. I hope to return full steam soon. 🙂