A Lesson from Cactus
Last week I saw the Head Wrangler at Wind River Ranch share his testimony while he worked a couple of his horses in an outdoor arena. As I watched him work the horses and how they responded to him, an important lesson was demonstrated for me. The sketch of this scene was done by my good friend, Kirk Freeman, who serves as Lead Pastor at CrossBridge Community Church in San Antonio.
Nick, the Head Wrangler, explained what he looks for when he selects horses. All the horses he considers are good horses on paper, but there are things a skilled wrangler learns when he walks into a pen with a potential horse. He looks at the body language of a horse; how the horse holds his neck, his ears and how close the horse might come to a new person. In the arena, Nick was watching two horses, to see who was open and wanted to work. As Nick talked, one of the horses came close and waited for Nick, and the other one walked all around the arena, but wasn’t particularly interested in him. Cactus came close, eager to work with Nick.
Wranglers are looking for horses that are available…for whatever. A man can’t explain to a horse what he intends to do each day. Each day is different. Some days are fun, and some days are hard work. The horse has no idea what’s coming, but as I watched Cactus in contrast to the other horse, I saw a horse that was available. Cactus no longer cared what the other horse was doing, he wanted to be close to Nick.
Availability is the spirit behind a servant who shows up. Servants who show up want to be close to JESUS, to see what HE might do. What a great attitude! Imagine thinking, ‘I have no idea if today is going to be difficult, emotional, easy, a day of rest, or a day of incredible struggle, but whatever it is, I want to be close to JESUS, to be a part of what my Master is doing.’
Parents, being available is a spiritual skill that is more often caught than taught. If you and I have reasons why we can’t show up, serve, or give ourselves to Kingdom priorities, then the message to our children is things of the Kingdom aren’t necessarily worth dropping everything for. However, if we’re available, ready to serve and generous with our time, not only will we get to see what our Master has for us today, but our children grow up believing it’s worth it to stop what they’re doing and respond to our Master’s nudges.
Have you considered how available you are? I think it’s worth asking a close friend or our spouse, “Hey – do you see me as available, responding to the things GOD is doing around me?” If we don’t like their answer, we can make some changes. The key to being available is being surrendered to our Master’s priorities, like our Master was.
“Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Your attitude should be the same that CHIRST JESUS had. Though HE was GOD, HE did not demand and cling to HIS rights as GOD. HE made HIMSELF nothing; HE took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.” (Philippians 2:4-7 NLT)