Posted in Family, fear, friends, gratitude, life, love, loving others, priorities, Scripture, Southern born, thankful, Trials

Ride a Cock Horse

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

I was chosen to ride a horse.  When I was in the third grade, our school was going to put on a musical.  Back in those days, being a part of something like a school musical was cool.  Today, in most circumstances, mention a musical to most boys and all you can see is the dust from their feet as they run away.  But this was a different time and being chosen wasn’t only cool…it was an honor.

I think the show was a variety thing and two other boys and myself were going to sing a song about riding a “cock horse” to “Banbury Cross” to “see a fine lady” who rode a white horse. She wore rings on her fingers and bells on her toes and she had music wherever she went. Well, anyway it was something like that. Our costume consisted of the three of us wearing white shirts with white pants.  They made us a hat like the one’s the soldiers wore in “The Nutcracker” and a cardboard white horse that we slipped over our heads and around our waists, so it appeared we were riding it. 

An important part of the costume were the shoes.  According to the director, we were to wear white buckskin shoes…and that was the problem.  I had a white shirt, and a pair of white pants were easy enough to come by but buckskin white shoes?  No way.  It is safe to say that no one who lived at 6008 Carlton Road ever owned or wore white buckskin shoes.  I also think it is safe to say they were out of our price range.  The best Momma and Daddy could do was a pair of white canvas tennis shoes.  I was mortified.  I knew, and I was right, that the other two boys would have on white buckskin shoes, and I would be the only one who didn’t and I was embarrassed.

As always, I should have known that Momma and Daddy had done the best they could do and that should have been enough but from my small world perspective it wasn’t. I’m sure there was a fair amount of pouting and applying an unfair guilt trip on my parents.  I’m sure they felt bad, and I am sure it was my fault.  The truth is…I was being very selfish.  Something like selfishness is easy to see in the rearview mirror when enough time and distance has passed.  And I’m sure that was not the only instance.

Well, the show must go on…and it did and guess what?  Not one person said anything about my white canvas tennis shoes.  Nope…we sang and danced our little cock horses across the stage and everyone clapped.  Of course, looking back, I shouldn’t have worried about the shoes but rather about the whole idea of prancing around a stage with a cardboard horse around my waist. Perhaps part of the humor in all of this is I still remember a lot of the words and the tune to my “Cock Horse” song.

I’m not sure when but somewhere along the journey I realized that what I thought was a big deal was not.  And, trust me, that was not the only time.  I’ve learned that we humans tend to made mountains out of molehills. And I’ve also learned that too often it revolves around relationships.  Too often relationships with family and friends are scarred or shattered over the smallest of things.  And, sadly and ironically, sometimes people don’t even remember what the deal was.  Walls were built and no one knows why, and no one has the courage to tear them down.

Got any walls in your life?  Still mad about something as silly as buckskin shoes?  If so, why not let today be the day when the walls come down?  Why not let today be the day when that relationship is restored?  Why not be the one to take the first “whack at the wall?”  As a pastor, I do a lot of funerals and sadly, there are often walls in the families and just like that…it is too late to fix it.

Peter, one of the guys that followed Jesus, wrote in the Bible, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” He knew that love makes a great sledgehammer for tearing down walls.  God knew that too because He loved us even though we weren’t close to being worthy.  It takes courage to take the first whack.  God willingly took the first swing to bring us home and it involved a Roman cross and His Son.  Need a little help swinging that hammer?  Not a problem…just ask because, “He’s got this.”  Bro. Dewayne