You’d think I was an equestrian from the amount of times I’ve had to climb down off my high horse over the years. These days I’m really trying to climb on nothing higher than a Shetland pony, but once in a while I still pick one that resembles a big ol’ Clydesdale. When that happens, it just results in that much farther I have to lower myself. I think it’s called the humbling process.
The tempting thing about swinging yourself astride a high horse is that you think you have such a better view from way up there. Well, there’s a view, though it may not necessarily be a better one. Different yes, and that’s ok. If we were all alike, we’d be quite the boring bunch. Case in point…
I sat in a lengthy meeting a while back. Seated around the table were seven different people representing various aspects of the organization. That meant seven assorted opinions, seven different views, and a whole corral of horses at our disposal – if any of us had felt inclined to saddle up. But the appeal of that hours-long meeting was the feeling in the atmosphere – and in our spirits – as we all departed. We had enjoyed each other’s company. We had given each other a space for grace as we tossed around ideas and hammered out details. We reached a consensus and had managed to do it without anyone throwing down a pitchfork in the middle of the table and demanding their voice not only be heard but heeded.
Though I had spent more than six hours in that meeting, I walked out refreshed even if my brain was tired. Why? Because business had been conducted in a way that honored what each one brought to the table. No one snorted and pawed the dirt in a fit of agitation because they were right and everyone else was wrong. Instead, we actually resembled the Body of Christ – with Him at the head of the table and the rest of us operating out of our God-given strengths, along with our knowledge and experience. We made it through the lengthy agenda and everyone still liked everyone else as we exited. Success!
Meanwhile, back at the stable…
There’s also a downside to the upswing of hoisting one’s derriere up into that high saddle. The air is thinner up there and it does things to one’s brain cells. Breathing ‘high horse air’ too long or too frequently tends to make one’s pride puff up like an overly inflated balloon. And you know what eventually happens to balloons that are just too full of hot air…
”Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
We’ve all been around someone who has floated into our atmosphere and sucked up all the good air. Gasping for your next breath in a toxic environment is not a healthy way to live. Neither is being the one who is straddled in the saddle, sitting high and blocking others’ view of Christ. The only thing that should be high and lifted up is Him, not us. If that’s not the case in your immediate surroundings, it’s a safe bet that it’s time to analyze why that is.
As for me, should I feel the need to throw my dainty little foot into the stirrup (again), Holy Spirit has been given permission to stop me in mid-mount before I misrepresent His character and require yet another crash course in how to dismount with grace and humility.
Since I know I’m not the only heart that has held itself in too high regard at times, may I suggest that a barn cleaning might be in order for all of us? Believe me when I say the best antidote for a case of high horse fever is prostrating oneself at the foot of the Cross.
Will you join me? I can move over…
Learning the art of breathing life-giving dust,
“For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think more highly of himself than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.” Romans 12:3 AMP
P.S. Next week…part 2 and pedestals