Youthful memories of adventure and freedom

Youthful memories of adventure and freedom

Hooves thundering. Wind whipping back my hair. Leaning over the horse’s mane and urging him to run faster. These are youthful memories I treasure. Sonny, a two-year-old quarter horse, liked to go fast. Suited me just fine.

A gift from my parents, the horse gave me a freedom I’d never known. Together, we’d explore the countryside, looking for adventure. We’d traipse through pine forests, run along orange groves, and swim in lakes to cool off.

Then there were no cell phones. My folks dropped me off with siblings and friends to ride until a pre-arranged pick-up time at the barn. We had wide-open choices for where we’d go. Excited, we looked for new paths.

Just like my dad and mom equipped me to survey life unfettered, so does God grant us opportunity. He lets us set out on a pilgrimage to find wonderful places, all the while smiling as we discover His gifts.

If we got hungry, there often were juicy, tart tangerines we could pick from the citrus trees to snack on. If we got hot, we could shelter in the shade of mossy live oaks. Each step of the way, God stayed present. He still does.

One time while riding Sonny bareback, I pretended to be an English queen and attempted to swing my right leg over his neck to mimic riding side saddle. Unfortunately, I lost balance and toppled to the soft sand. My horse stopped, dipped his head toward my face on the ground, snorted and looked at me as though to say, “What were you thinking?”

He didn’t take off or step on me. He waited patiently until I could figure out how to get back up and mount him without benefit of stirrups or a saddle horn. A nearby stump served its purpose, and soon I was on my way, all the while giggling.

Me and my airs. God sees me do foolish things. He shakes His head. But he doesn’t leave or lecture. He helps me regroup and get going again in the right direction.

Today’s Bible verse:

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord,” (Proverbs 21:31 NIV).


Dear Lord, thank you for giving us freedom and choices. When we get off track, please guide us gently back to the green pastures of delight in being with You. Amen.


Devotional video with horses at