Several years ago (I was quite little at the time), I read a novel entitled “The Horse Whisperer”. It was about a little girl who had a horse. Apart from her mom, there was no other living creature she loved more. Her horse loved her just as much, and they had quite a bond that was beyond human explanation. It was as though they could understand each other’s every emotion…

One day, she rode her horse out into the mountain side… There was too much snow along the edges, the Stallion lost his footing and down they went till they hit bottom. Horse and rider came out of that experience very scared and scarred… She swore never to ride again, and her horse would never let any human being near him again either…

Today, we hear about terrorists and terrorism, kidnappers and kidnappings, armed robbers and armed robbery, corrupt officials and widespread corruption, rapists and rape… But who are those responsible for these evils? Human beings! Yes! Frightened, insecure and absolutely frustrated human beings who have hit bottom.

Yes, it’s quite absurd to say that the heartless assassin is scared and scarred, or to describe the rapist as needing genuine love and care. But if we understand anything about human nature, we soon realise that human beings are quite fragile. We are influenced by everything around us; by our parents, our peers, our environments, our hopes and most importantly, our fears.

How we respond to our fears determines what manner of ‘turning points’ we experience. The girl and her horse in that novel I mentioned earlier ‘chose’ to react negatively. They decided to remain at the bottom of the mountain. It was so much easier for the horse never to trust anyone to ride him again. It was easier for the girl to believe she could never ride again, even after her broken limbs got better. Their ‘decision’ was influenced by FEAR. Their reaction to that fear was even MORE fear.

Friends, I’ve not been in the world too long, but I’ve come to discover that we have so much evil around us because people are too scared to change. We get thrown to the ground too many times, we lose hope. Like the girl and her horse, we choose to remain at the bottom. We take it out on other people and ultimately blame God. I know there are those (even you reading this right now) who have gotten pretty close to suicide many times. There are those who have already made the decision to become vengeful and become as evil as possible (after all, if God cares that much, where was He when those terrible things happened to us? Right?)…

What happens when we hit bottom? Do we CHOOSE to stay down, or rise? In our story, our girl and her horse did get better. But how? Well, when her mom got tired of a vengeful daughter who had lost all her happiness, she decided to seek out someone who could heal her daughter’s horse. She knew the horse was the KEY. As soon as she got a horse whisperer, she took her daughter and her horse and drove thousands of miles to get to him.

In order to make the horse better, the whisperer first refused to acknowledge that the horse was capable of scaring him away. Out of fear the horse raved and blew and kicked all around, but the whisperer would not budge. By the fourth day, the horse had to accept that there was still one human being he couldn’t scare away. Many weeks passed and the horse began trusting the whisperer. More weeks passed and the whisperer began riding the horse. But whenever our girl came close, her horse went back to being all scared. That was when the whisperer decided it was time to make the horse FACE THE FEAR the hard way. He bound the Stallion with twines and left him that way for several hours. Then he made our girl climb up and down the bound horse. Our girl felt so bad for her horse. She couldn’t understand why the whisperer would subject him to more torture just as he was getting better. But she did as she was told.

Later on when she asked the whisperer why he bound her horse, the man scratched his head and smiled. Then he looked at our girl and said, “Your horse is very scared. He thinks he disappointed you. Now he doesn’t want anyone to get close so that he doesn’t end up hurting them as he hurt you…”
“Wow! All this while he has been avoiding me because he doesn’t want to hurt me again?”
“But how do you know that?” our girl asked again.
“Well, because I’m a horse whisperer”, the man replied. “It’s my business to know these things.” He paused, then continued, “When I bound up your horse today, he went back to being very scared. I could even see the whites in his eyes. Then you got on him and marched up and down his belly for many minutes. You saw what happened when I released him?”
“He was less afraid of me?”
“Exactly! Your horse realised that you could be bound up and stepped on, and it would still be okay.”
“He even let me touch him for the first time today after many months…”

Hello, let’s not get too carried away here. I’m not trying to rewrite the novel I read many years ago. God knows the conversation I just wrote didn’t originally appear that way. But don’t worry, the idea is pretty much the same. To cut the long story short, our girl’s horse got better when he realised that life can throw you down a cliff, break your limbs, and you’ll still be okay. True healing began for him when he realised that friends can step on you when you’re all bound up and it’ll still be okay. Our girl got better when her horse got better. It was from thence that they both made a decision to RISE from the bottom with a more positive approach to life.

So what are you going to do? Stay down or rise? What will be your attitude going forward? Would you continue being angry at the snow, the mountain, or the friend that hurt you? Would you continue being the ‘badoo’ just to prove a point to God that you’ve chosen to ‘outevil’ the devil? Isn’t it better to shake off the dust, fix the broken limbs and push back up the mountain top? It’s time to realise that being broken is not the problem; staying broken is.

Well, there’s always a chance that we might prefer to end up like the whisperer who committed suicide later on in the story because he could not bear to be the cause of a divorce (Did I mention that our girl’s mom was at the middle of a divorce? It turned out that she began falling in love with the man who brought happiness back to her daughter and he had to pay the intimate price with his life). That we’re able to give help does not mean we’re able to help ourselves when it matters most. But let’s stay positive. RISE and STAY POSITIVE…

Lord have mercy on us all!

© Oselumhense Anetor, 2017.

Image Credit@PIXABAY