The other evening Rod was riding Angel. Everything going along swimmingly. Then he stops, and reaches down and is fiddling with the reins at the bit. I see that he is removing the reins from the bit. He loops the rein loosely around Angel’s neck, and off they go. He’s riding Angel with no reins, just using his legs to indicate walk, jog or lope, and to change direction. Angel is turning and moving like this was just the most normal thing in the world, and I’m standing there with my mouth open. I asked Rod if he’d done before and he said no, he just thought he’d give it a try.

Trust. Angel trusts Rod completely, so it was no big deal.

I have believed for a long time that if your horse trusts you and you do something different, they think, “Hmm. That was different.” If they don’t trust you and you do something different, they freak out. “Did I do something wrong? Am I going to get hit? What does she want? What’s happening?”

I think it is like that with God. God asks us to do something different, or to think about something in a different way. Do we freak out, or do we say, “Hmm. That’s different.” Do people who are different from us freak us out, or do we roll with it, relying on the goodness of God to see us through what we don’t understand yet?

That’s not to say that everything that is different – whether it’s culture, habits, religion, whatever – is automatically good. But I hope to be able to evaluate such differences on their merits, and not knee-jerk assume that something different is wrong.

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