Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wings of Encouragement

I love watching the horse when the wind is blowing and thier mane and tail is catching the air. Had me thinking today on 'encouragement' and the impact it can make in ones life. There is a scripture that talks about how life and death are in the power of the tongue in the bible. This holds true to my heart as one who has witnessed both sides of the 'fence' so to speak regarding 'encouragment' or simply 'the opposite'.

A couple of weeks ago I was on Belle in the saddle, the wind was blowing, the branches on the trees were swaying and I guess from a horses point of perception, they were pretty frightning. I could feel her trembling under the saddle as I 'encouraged' her to continue towards the back pasture...because of the bears we have had they are on high alert when they go to the back pasture always watching for something to come out of the woods to get them. It was obvious to me that she was so scared and that the more I prompted her, the more skittish she became.

At that point, I had to make a decision. I wanted to encourage her to overcome her fears. I could have stayed in the saddle, but I wanted to get on the ground at her level and walk alongside of her and encourage her that all was good and safe, she had no reason to fear. I wanted to build her confidence that she would overcome and rest in the task at hand.

I dismounted, and took a little time on the ground with her, and then we proceeded in the same direction towards the back pasture. Her ears were back and forth, at one point she jumped away from 'whatever' but I maintained a calm and affirming posture with her to 'encourage' and coax to keep pressing forward. I didnt push her beyound her limits, didnt use a whip, or lead to push her. But I used my steady companionship to stand with her even when she wasn't performing in what I knew she had the ability to do.

We walked just the two of us for almost an hour back and forth and around in that back pasture. There was an ease that settled on her, she was breathing easier, her posture more relaxed, the nervousness had ceased, and she was more confident as we walked together.

I think of different situations and seasons in my life. Different people and the impact they have made in the method of 'encouragement' that was offered when my confidence level was down, or my 'performance' wasn't measuring up to my potential. It was the words of encouragement that helped me to keep moving forward despite the surroundings in my midst.

Those seasons where encouragement came, were seasons that I learned to fly when I had a hard time walking. Its easy to be critical when people are at thier worst. Criticism has become a devoted part of our culture. It incapacitates people to rise up, we really do have the power to help others to learn to fly.

 We can walk alone, constantly dealing with our fears and insecurities...
Or, we can be in the presence of a trusted friend who encourages when the heart feels low. Even the horse
knows how to be a source of encouragment to a friend. We can learn so much from these wonderful animals.
The life lessons they offer, can change us forever.

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