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Letting Go

By Shelby Janes

Life can be hectic. One can easily find themselves running from one thing to the next, groceries, social activities, work, cooking, cleaning, and phone calls. I’m sure you could add to this list. But there are also activities that cause us to take pause and reflect on the world and our place in it: gardening, going to church, holding a baby, taking a walk, watching a sunset, and if you are an animal lover, working with a horse.

I have the privilege of being a Wrangler and Vaulting coach at Warm Beach Camp. I get the privilege of working with youth and watching as they learn to slow down and work with their horse. One of my favorite things as a Vaulting coach is to see campers stand up on a horse for the first time – a pinnacle when somebody is first learning how to vault.

Some immediately let go and stand up tall on the horse. These quick let-goers do one of two things: they either stand up too fast and have to take a step back and then lurch forward to again take hold of the handles, or they wobble back and forth on their feet. Both find it difficult to relax and move with the horse’s rhythm.

While some stand up immediately the majority don’t. Most don’t let go of the handles – afraid that if they let go they’re going to fall. As they stand bent over gripping the handles, I try to convince them that it will be easier to stand up straight than to keep holding on. They’re basically staying in a squat position the entire time, and it’s harder to move with the horse when they’re bent over. A lot of campers don’t believe me. It feels safer to hold on than to let go. After all, they are attempting to stand up on an incredibly powerful moving creature that has a mind of its own.

I bet God looks at us in a similar way. He asks us to do something – to commit our lives to Him, forgive a certain person, give up something that we have a tight grip on – and we gawk at Him, holding on tight to what feels safe. But He says to us, “It will be easier if you let go and stand up tall. It won’t be comfortable at first, but the more you practice letting go the easier it will be.”

The time guest spend at Warm Beach Camp is the perfect opportunity to let go and see what God is going to do in their lives.

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