High vigilance for horses = nighttime

By Dave Henning / July 31, 2020

“Predators hunt under cover of darkness; from the horse’s point of view, nighttime calls for high vigilance.  Come morning we often have to settle them down before we attempt to ride, so we groom them and do some ‘ground work’.  At some point in their connection with us — once they’re feeling safe and secure — they let out this wonderful sigh. . . .  We humans make that sigh too, when we feel settled and in a good place.”- John Eldredge

In Chapter 1 (“The One Minute Pause”) of Get Your Life Back, John Eldredge talks about his two horses.  John and his wife currently own a Paint (aka Pinto) and a solid brown bay.  But even though John sees his horses as powerful, magnificent creatures, the horses see things differently.  Because in their inner life, they feel vulnerable.  As the author observes, a whole lot of ‘flight’ exists in their ‘flight or fight’ response.

For example, once John had a horse blow up under him simply because the horse smelled lion.  Yet, no lion lurked in the area.  Rather, the horse just smelled the scent the male lion left to mark his territory.  Hence the need to connect with the horse.

And we experience that sigh ourselves.  Sometimes we experience it in moments of beauty, like watching a sunset while sitting at the beach.  At other times we produce a deep exhale when we remember a precious truth from God’s Word.

However, the author notes, like horses we also live in a word that triggers our souls into high vigilance far too often.  In addition, life requires most of us to live at a frantic pace.  As a result, that leaves very little room for that sigh and the experiences that allow it to happen.

In conclusion, John explains:

“When I’m rattled . . . I find it hard to hear from God, and I don’t like feeling untethered from him. .  . . I want something that’s going to make me feel better now.  When we’re unsettled, unnerved, unhinged, it’s human nature to seek a sense of equilibrium, stability . . .”

Today’s question: What in your life cause you to maintain a state of high vigilance?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The One Minute Pause creates soul space”

About the author

Dave Henning

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