The Best Path
Horse camp offered the option of an early morning ride.. The first morning I decided to crawl out of bed at 5:00 and join the group horseback riding. I was told to stay at the back of the caravan because my assigned horse, Cherokee, would kick any horse that pushed too close. We saddled up and rode out before the sun had even risen. Several people had flashlights making it possible for the rest of us to identify the trail. Cherokee delicately chose her footing, and we slowly grew farther and farther behind. Once we entered the woods, the two black horses in front of me disappeared in the gloom. Eventually, I could see neither the group nor the path, so Cherokee took charge and proceeded to take the straightest route towards the noise of horses’ hooves up ahead. Spider webs plastered my hair; thorns snagged my jeans; branches whipped my arms. I couldn’t redirect her because my hands were busy guarding my face. (And what if I did stop her? We would just get farther behind, and I couldn’t see enough to catch up anyway.) Suddenly a large branch appeared and raked across my hand. I froze in pain; surely, I was bleeding, but it was too dark to see. Cherokee pressed forward and caught up with the group, and eventually, the pain in my hand subsided. Once the sun came out, I could see that my hand was fine with only a little bruising though I held it against myself for the uneventful remainder of the ride.
On Sabbath, Mrs. Holland asked for object lessons that we had noticed. One girl mentioned that the way the horses carefully chose the best part of the trail to walk on was similar to how God leads us in the best path for our life. I realized that, though true, this analogy continues. God does direct our path in our best interest, but it’s not always the easiest. We hope for the safe, packed-dirt part of the trail, but sometimes God knows we need the overgrown, rocky part to fit us for heaven. Unlike horses though, God isn’t mindlessly running us into branches just so He has an easy road; He carefully selects trials for our development. God is love, and unlike my self-centered horse, when He leads, we know it will be for our ultimate good.