When I first sat down to write this piece, I had planned to do a piece on forgiveness. I have had several situations lately where forgiveness seemed applicable, even necessary, but I felt myself struggling. I kept circling back around to the thought that I was in the right, they were in the wrong, and it just did not seem fair that I needed to be the one to dig deep and forgive. I was definitely dragging my feet.
As always, I found myself taking notes and learning about the active nature of grace just by watching my horses. Horses exude grace. Their movements are the very definition of grace. They embody the spirit of grace in their willingness to accept us as friends and partners in this journey. The very fact that they, as prey animals, choose to trust humans; predators, defies the natural order of the world and demonstrates the act of grace. We are undeserved of their generous gift of companionship, but can choose to cherish and learn from it.
Along my way to finding forgiveness, I found myself practicing grace. I learned I did not have to be right, but could extend the hand of friendship and choose not to allow petty grievances to harm a long-time relationship. Doing so would not only harm that friendship, but would also hurt me by allowing bitterness and self-destructive thoughts and patterns to form.
To me, this portrays our relationship with God. By our very nature, humankind are sinners and undeserved of His love and mercy, yet He still bestows upon us this incredible gift of grace. I honestly believe that He gave us animals to act as instructors of grace so that we could become the people He intends us to be. I know I have learned so many unexpected lessons in life from mine. I learned grace is not just a singular act, but a continuous action that must be practiced daily in order to have real impact in life. In finding grace, I have also discovered a way to be closer to God and to accept harsh truths and realities without accruing toxic feelings of bitterness and self-justification. In writing this, I hope that my lesson might help even one person on his own journey.