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flower_bedIt was a nice, warm spring day. I was out working in the yard and noticed that some of my perennials were coming back up in my flower bed - amidst the weeds and debris from last year. I wish I had beautiful flower beds, I remember thinking.

All the wishing in the world will not give me a beautiful flower bed. What would it take? Some time and effort on my part devoted to weeding, hoeing, and watering. The reality is that I only want a great flower bed in an abstract sense. It’s not a high enough priority that I’m willing to put much effort into it.

I remember hearing my mom say more than once, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Apparently I was afflicted with wishing for things when I was younger also.

How many of you want to be good riders? Or maybe a horse trainer or riding instructor some day? Are you like me - wishing, but not doing anything about it? It will take more than a casual ride once or twice a week and dreaming about it. If you don’t have the money for lessons, maybe you can arrange to work at a stable in exchange for lessons. Try to find a good 4-H group or Pony Club with people that will help you advance in your riding skills. Check your local library to see whether they have books or videos by some of the top trainers that you can study. Maybe there are some clinics nearby you can attend.

If this is a real goal for you, be creative in exploring ways that you can learn from others and be disciplined in working with your horse regularly. Recently a former pro-basketball player spoke at our church. As a boy he would often practice 12 hours a day. His parents had to make him come in off their lighted basketball court and go to bed at night.

While it’s good to be working toward a goal, always remember to keep everything in perspective. Nothing should come before your relationship with God and your family. As it says in Mark 12, God wants us to love Him with everything we have. If we’re pouring all of ourselves into horses, basketball, or anything else, we won’t have much left for God.


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Mark 12:30, 31


P.S. Yeah, in case you hadn't already guessed, that photo is not of my flower bed. Maybe next year. :)