Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Patient Endurance

I am here to tell you that 6 hours in 95 degree southern sun is enervating. Enervate is from a latin root which means: to weaken by extraction of the sinews. This is highly descriptive of me at the end of the day yesterday. The sun bleached the calcium from my bones and melted my sinews. I was a slimy slug, crawling boneless and completely enervated to my bed last night.

We started our day by shoveling 400 piles of dog poop at Hollow Creek Farm. For those of you who love dogs and want to support a really fantastic and unique rescue farm, they always need volunteers to help move animal excrement. I normally do not mind this task. I breathe through my mouth so that no molecules enter my sensitive olfactory system. But in 95 degree southern sun, invariably I take an inadvertent sniff of the baking collection and the smell alone could fell stronger women than me. When every poop pile was gone that we could see with the inevitable anoxia from taking as few breaths as possible and resultant double vision, we moved on to our next task- trying to tame the wild mustang Sadie. As the owner of HCF pointed out, this is dangerous. This is trying to pet a 2,000 pound weapon with 4 hammers at the end of catapults and bone crushing razors traps at the mouth.... a weapon, I might add, that is not anxious to be petted. (But don't worry Mom, I am being very careful.)

Our job is to try to convince the mustang that people are not monsters and that she should be happy to let us touch her neck and maybe eventually brush her tangled mane. We have been "taming" her for months now, but with my series of injuries and health issues, I have not been out there in quite a while. We had advanced to the point where I could get a halter over her nose and almost to her ears using carrots as bribes, but she has never let me touch her ears. When she saw us, she trotted over. This is a good sign and shows she connects us with kindness, gentleness, and carrots. Lots of carrots.

She quickly shoved her nose in the halter, having lost no ground despite months of not seeing her. At this pace, I expect to have the halter on her by the time I am 106. Asherel groomed the beautiful, but cranky pony Bob (you can see his story on youtube about the evil pony Bob) while I developed patience trying to get near the ears of the wild mustang. After an hour, she not only let me scritch her behind her ears, but I got in two brief strokes of her neck and one of her shoulder.

With this mind numbing degree of success, we staggered back to our AC and car, and headed out to Lake Wylie where Asherel wanted to kayak to a deserted island and practice skimboarding before our ocean vacation. Her skimboard training on the bedroom carpet was good for a first step, but had gone about as far as it could take her.

First we submerged ourselves in the water and then paddled to the island. Since it was midweek, no one was there giving Asherel the opportunity to wipe out without an audience. Most of the time there was spent just learning how to skim the board across the shallow water properly. She stepped on it a grand total of 3 times, and did remain upright for about a foot. She informed me that was enough for today. There is only so much fear and bruising someone can handle in 24 hours.

It struck me that so many of our endeavors require inestimable patience and slow progress. Very little comes quickly or easily to us. It seems most of success in life depends on not giving up. And wearing sunblock.

Revelation 14:12-13
12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. 13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
"Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

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