Monday, November 7, 2011

Who I Am vs Who I Am

My facebook status last night posed the question: do you ever feel like a racehorse who's hitched to a plow? Life is like that in many ways for me right now, and it's easy to look at the analogy with a negative, pop-culture-influenced cast. American culture tells us we need to "be who we are inside" and that anything less than that is a horrifying sin to be burned at the stake. If your an artist, make art, if you're an executive, lead, if you're a nurturer, care for someone.

Now, this all sounds quite good on the surface, and it makes my analogy of hitching a racehorse to a plow repugnant to those who ascribe to the "be who you are" mantra. Racehorses were made to be sleek. To run. To dazzle. As for plow horses--well, the only people who notice them are folks who have been suburbanites so long that when you drive by an old draft horse actually doing what it was bred to be good at, it's very novel. To put the glamorous racehorse in the place of the old plodder would seem a darn shame.

But then, when you really think about it, which horse is doing something more useful? The racer or the tiller? Perhaps there's some wisdom in hitching our racehorse, dreaming selves to the singletree of some honest farm equipment and just getting business done. I have always been a dreamer to a fault, and when you reap whimsy, you sow--well, nothing.

I'm in a bit of a plow horse phase of my life, and for this thoroughbred, that's a little tough  to swallow sometimes. But I know for sure that the Lord did not place me in this spot by accident, or to annoy me, or because he doesn't care about my dreams. More than likely, he knows my achieving my dreams will be much harder than I've ever guessed, and that I need to build up the muscle to shoulder what's ahead.

So my plan is to lean into the old collar and till the patch of rocky soil I'm on right now. It occurs to me that there's a reason God didn't give plow horses the gift of speech. If talking made them anything like us, imagine the complaining! I'm striving for dutiful tenacity, and if I can do that well, I know I can look forward to a surprising crop in a few seasons.

4 comments:

  1. "More than likely, he knows my achieving my dreams will be much harder than I've ever guessed, and that I need to build up the muscle to shoulder what's ahead."

    That is something I've thought more than once or twice about myself. What if God had granted me instant success? I'd probably have cracked under the pressure. I need this time to build up my strength, my confidence, my skills, etc.

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  3. Thanks for dropping in, Kat, and for sharing that encouraging word of agreement. Here's to not-so-instant success, but great success nonetheless. :)

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  4. I loved your analogy. Course, I LOVE horses. Anyways, your post was a good reminder for me to slow down in my dreamings and desirings and be thankful for where I am at and what God has blessed me with. I am reminded: *Being faithful in the small things* And not comparing the outsides with the insides. :)

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