Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You can lead a Horse to Water...

 Water is a source of life.
We need water everyday, but it does happen that we sometimes get too much of a good thing. 

 When my wife and I visited an Amish community near Hazleton, Iowa, spring melt was causing a bit of flooding.  This Amish fella had some manure to haul and he didn't let a little field pond get in the way of his work.  I was surprised that his horses walked right in; some horses will refuse.  I probably would have gone around this part of the field, just to avoid putting my horses to the test.  This is why horses owned by Amish are such well trained creatures.

A few years back, I gave a horse drawn wagon ride for a local Mennonite family's reunion.  They wanted me to take them to an Amish home a few miles from mine, where they were going to look at some quilts.  It was a wonderful evening for such a ride and the perfect destination for a horse-drawn hay ride.  There were a couple of snags along the way for me though.  First off, I told them that twenty people would be a full load and they told me that only twenty wanted to ride.  Closer to thirty got on.  Then, it was a really warm summer evening and my team was sweating pretty good when we got to my Amish friends home.  He came up with a bucket of water and offered some to both of my horses... but they refused.  Old John Henry said, "Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

Everyone was having such a good time, when we were ready to leave it was getting dark.  One of the family members had brought their grandmother in a small pickup, they followed me back home.  With headlights shining through the crowd and horses, we could almost see and be seen.  This and insurance purposes are some of the reasons I don't hire my horses out for rides anymore.  Sad though, because it was a lot of fun.

At the end of the day, it is still true, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.  Which reminds me of a scripture.  Jesus was waiting for his friends by a well and a woman came along.  He didn't have a container to draw water with, so he asked the woman for a drink.  She was surprised, because Jewish men of that day wouldn't speak to Samaritans, much less a Samaritan woman.  She said, and I paraphrase, You are asking me for a drink?  His response: "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water... whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty again."
             Gospel of John, Chapter 4
       My desire is to lead my friends to this living water, though, I understand that I can't make them drink.

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