This is an expanded look at the values I have learned from horses and the horse world as first described in the blog post: Why Use Horses?

Ponies standing in the wind

To many of you who know me, you are already well aware of this fact: I love horses… and pretty much everything about them.  I love the smell of sweet feed, the creak of leather, the warmth of their breath, the intelligence in their eyes, the feel of their strength, the sight of their beauty, and the sound of them munching on hay.  I love competing over fences in an arena, and I love racing bareback in a field.  I even enjoy the hard work and labor associated with caring for these animals.  I could spend all day at a barn, and it would feel like only a moment for me.  Every time I am away from that environment, I just can’t wait to get back.

But, I have to be honest with myself and ask the following questions: Do I love God more than I love horses?  Even more so, am I passionate about God?  Do I long to be with Him and enjoy His presence?  Do I seek Him out, not just to ask for something I want or for something to happen, but just because I want to be with Him?  Do I have a zeal and fervor for Him that bleeds into everything I do and all that I am?  I long for others to know me more than just the girl who loves horses but rather as a girl that is crazy in love with her God.  Instead of the list of all the things I love about horses, can I make a list about all the things I love about God and it come across with more feeling and emotion?  Can just the thought of Jesus invoke a longing to be in His presence?  I thought I knew what it meant to truly love God and be “in love” with Him until I recently read this quote from John Piper (from God is the Gospel): “The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you have ever had on earth, and all the food you have ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict, or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”  Francis Chan, in his book Crazy Love, responds to that question with this, “How many of you will read those words and say, ‘You know, I just might be okay with that?’  If you are deeply in love with God…you know you could never be satisfied in a heaven without Christ.”  I had to pause and really evaluate my answer to Piper’s question.  What about you?  What would your answer be?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  Mark 12:30

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