I read a statement the other day that I think is quite profound. “When the whip brushes by the flank of a mule, he balks and sulks. But, when the whip snaps against the thoroughbred, it responds with all its courage and strength!”
When I first read this, I immediately thought of many of the students I have had to discipline in my years as a teacher, bus driver, principal and superintendent. Many responded to corrections just like the mule. There was no intention to do better. There was no real remorse. Just defiance. Many responded like the thoroughbred. They learned from their mistakes. They were determined not to make the same mistake again. They were going to do better.
But as I thought about the statement more, I realized I needed to read it as it applies to me. How do I respond to criticism or correction? How do I respond when a door gets slammed shut on my plans? How do I respond when God says no to my request? How do I respond when Satan throws up a barrier to prevent me doing something I really wanted to do? I think that there have been times when my reactions have resembled a mule.
I want to respond as a thoroughbred. I want to respond by better using the energy and strength God has given me. When I watch the Kentucky Derby or some other horse race, I think the horses are running as fast as they can, but just a few touches with the jockey’s whip and they seem to shift into a different gear. Their stride gets longer and they run even faster.
It is obvious that I have rounded the curve in my race of life or as some would say, I am over the hill. Whatever. I want to finish strong like a thoroughbred.