Have you ever been horseback riding? I had been on a horse a handful of times before arriving at Black Mountain Ranch. Most of my horseback riding experience had been on flat wide surfaces, with virtually no obstacles to overcome. Black Mountain Ranch is right in the middle of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. They are called “Rocky Mountains” for a reason. We were either riding up the mountain or back down. There was very little flat ground to travel on.
At times we would ride on logging trails that were wide enough to ride side by side and sometimes we could even fit three across; however, the majority of our rides were on narrow trails that required you to go one behind the other. You had to depend on your horse to get you safely up or down the mountain. There was really very little you could do other than lean the right way and trust. I learned it is a lot easier for the horse to work when you relax and allow him to do what he needs to do. When you get tense and rigid, it makes it harder for the horse to safely get you where you’re going.
I couldn’t help but see the correlation between the trails and our walk with the Lord. There are many seasons in life we go through where we travel with a group of friends and enjoy the ride. However, there are also times where the road is narrow and we must go one at a time [Matthew 7:14]. We must trust the Lord to take us up or down the path no matter how scary it appears [Proverbs 3:5-6]. It is during those times we lean into the Lord and rest in His abilities, not our own. We need to remain relaxed and flexible, trusting Him, instead of rigid and unwilling to be shaped and molded [Jeremiah 18:6].
It took me a few days to get used to the steep, rocky trails that wound around hairpin turns to the top of the mountain, but I came to trust my horse. I learned how to rest in the fact he knew where he was going, even when I didn’t. He would get me there safely. When I finally relaxed and let him do his job, I really began to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Each and every time I reached the top and looked out over the Rockies, I knew the trip had been worth it. I wouldn’t have ever wanted to miss out on what I experienced. It was so worth it!