Head drooped over the gate of his stall, Horse could see the heads of the other horses lined neatly in two opposite rows. Life in the stalls was looking around, though nothing interesting to see, perhaps staring longingly into their yesterdays.
Yesterday. The days when earth shook from the wild herd racing the wind to nowhere in particular, great manes flagging defiance to the elements. Days of devouring grasses of the wild, and drinking its waters. Finding their own shade and shelter. An abundance of fresh air and freedom and zest.
Yesterday. No steel bit in their mouths, no harness or rider, no squeaky wagons to pull. No smelly barn or cramped stall, no walking in their own manure.
Poor Horse. Didn’t listen to that inner voice warning him to resist the yummy grain and apples the man had placed just inside the corral. Didn’t notice that every day this feast was placed deeper into the corral, further from the wide-open gate. Too busy munching to detect the man sneaking to the gate. In an instant Horse lost his freedom and became another’s subordinate.
Poor Horse. He panicked, kicked, cried and snorted. He could see the herd, his beloved family, so close yet unreachable. The herd must and did leave him, distancing themselves from Horse’s distress and the man’s cunning.
The man talked soothing words…. good boy…. nobody’s gonna’ hurt you…. everything’s gonna be okay. Soon there was a noose around poor Horse, and under the spell of the man’s calming words allowed himself to be led to the stable. In time, he was tamed and saddled and submissive.
One day the corral gate was ajar. The man’s mistake was Horse’s opportunity. He froze. The other horses froze. All stared at the gate, but only a few dared escape and rejoin the herd.
It was then that Horse realized his spirit had been irrevocably tamed. He was now a dependent, less than half what he once was.
NOTE: It must be said that not everyone attending an evangelical church is an evangelical…. though most are.