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Stay on the Trail

Summer '13

A trail might be narrow and hard, but there’s a reason it’s where it is.

Yesterday I went with my wife, my daughter and a group of folks from cowboy church on a trail ride they have been doing every New Year’s Day for a while now.

I don’t care much for trail riding so, after a few miles, I got bored and left the Trail, cutting out through the woods parallel to the group. I’m riding a 2-year-old green horse that needs the miles on her, so I’m weaving in and out of trees, just messing around, not hurting anyone, doing my own thing, just trying to break up the monotony of going in a Straight Line following the south end of a bunch of horses.

After a while I stop up ahead waiting on the others to catch up and my horse starts to get agitated and kicking and trying to run. I’m holding her up thinking she’s just ready to move and I’m not. Then I looked behind us and down and we are standing in a yellow jacket nest. She’s getting tore up, and they are swarming us, so me and her leave out. She’s buckin’ a little, just trying to shake them nasty suckers. I feel them hitting my shirt on the sleeves and back, and one comes in at 100mph and gets me under the eye and that sucker still burns like it’soin fire this morning.

God taught me something. Getting off the Trail can take you places you don’t need to be, and get you in a world of hurt.

Many times you hear, “It don’t matter what I do. It ain’t affecting or hurting nobody but me!” What people don’t realize is that little bit of fun … that sin they are dabbling in … always has consequences and always affects others around them in one way or another.

God taught me something. Getting off the Trail can take you places you don’t need to be, and get you in a world of hurt.

My selfishness got me and my horse eat up by yellow jackets. It was my fault. I led her off the Trail and we stirred up the nest of yellow jackets. I was just trying to get myself and horse out of there, and in doing so I took them angry suckers right back to the group! So not only did my choice to get off the Trail affect me, but I involved my horse, and the others back on the trail.

So stay on the Trail.

It may seem boring at times but it’s marked with a planned-out direction. There is water, and places to rest along the way. There are always dangers in life, even on the right trail, but they are easily seen, marked and avoidable because of many others that have gone before us.

I was guilty of leading another astray from the trail. God warns us about that, you see, about causing another to stumble.

I had been down that trail (well, not that one, but a trail is a trail, right?) … trees, sand, palmettos, etc. I had seen it all before and boredom got me, just like in the Christian life if we do not have an active relationship with Christ. Just a dose of religion and it seems like the same old same.

It’s easy to start looking around, and easy to jump on and off the Trail to find us a little excitement!

Stay on the Trail

My horse had never been down that trail. It was all new to her. She was learning as we went along and instead of using the time I had with her to teach her about the Trail, I chose to  steer her in another direction. I led her off the trail, and where we went it was way easier walking than the narrow trail we had been on.

That good Trail was rough, with deep sand, but I led her away from the others, and from the Trail Boss, and got us in trouble.

Stay on the trail.