embracing the stages of life

“Hwa is thet mei thet hors wettrien the him self nule drinken”
[who can give water to the horse that will not drink of its own accord?  – origin ca 1175 AD; today known as “you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink”)

  • from  www.phrases.org.uk

As a much younger man,  I spent time on a ranch feeding, grooming, and exercising horses, and mucking out their stalls.   It was not something that I immediately jumped from bed at 0430 and embraced on winter mornings, day after day.  But I did it.  And I learned to appreciate the life lessons though I did not realize it as such then.

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image courtesy of YouTube

Some dogs can be a little slow to realize that a meal of dog biscuits is not on the menu;  sitting with Dexter while he slowly eats his modestly-expensive, healthy dog chow and canned food is becoming less needed.  Comet, who has never shown a lack of interest in his food, has on several occasions plowed through his bowl and then “encourages” Dexter – by eating his bowl as well.  However, given the competition, Dexter seems to relish his food these days.

With the “busy”-ness of life, I can sometimes act like a stubborn horse,  or lack appreciation for a meal, like my pampered dog.   Tonight,  I went to an encouraging devotional for the married men in my church fellowship.  A couple dozen men were MIA;  I had considered briefly that I might find an excuse to also miss.   But as I had been the one to announce tonight’s devotional to the small study group who gathered earlier in the week,  I thought best I should go.

For those who do not understand why some folks would gather in the middle of a energy-draining work week, with personal schedules, project deadlines, kids’ homework, and sports on TV as other demands,  the spiritual, health, relationship, home – and work-life benefits are factually demonstrated- as our minister indicated tonight, quoting a Mayo Clinic study of millions of participants.

The lesson for tonight was to embrace, encourage, and learn from the stage of life we are in.  Seek relationships and life-mentoring opportunities.  And surround yourself with opportunities to encourage one another.  It’s healthy.  It’s what God leads us toward.

But it is still up to you to drink the living water.

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