Written by Amy Byrd.
Beautiful thoroughbred horses carrying a very small human around a one and one quarter mile track – running as fast as they can. This has become the famous “Run For The Roses” that takes place the first Saturday in May each year at the Kentucky Derby. It takes intentional breeding, years of training, and just the right moment for a horse to be declared the winner. I have attended the Derby and it is a very exciting two minutes. However, I must admit, it seems that the thoroughbred has a menial job when compared to the pack mule.
Consider the highly esteemed job of a pack mule in the development of our country. When men and women could not carry their heavy loads across rough terrain, they depended on these sturdy and ever faithful animals to do it for them. In fact, I would vote for the pack mule to hold a place of honor in the Historical Society of America. Ponder this list of attributes and see if you agree with my high esteem for these humble creatures:
- · Are born followers
- · Can carry a load without a lot of swaying and lunging
- · Know their job and want to do it
- · Are extremely intelligent
- · Are brave, not easily startled
- · Are patient and long-suffering
- · Are load bearers, capable of carrying immense burdens
- · Require very low maintenance
In our walk through this world we certainly do have thoroughbred moments when all of our intentional plans, years of careful training and the perfect moment collide to create a flurry of praise and admiration for our hard work. The blanket of men’s praise drapes our ego, and we cling to the sound of their applause as we move from the winner’s circle to the hum drum beat of our personal reality. However, a thoroughbred existence always ends up back in the pasture without a job.
Consider this, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) A pack mule was born to bear the burden of someone else, and so were the children of God. When we carry each other’s burdens, we must realize that sometimes it is much more than patting our sister on the shoulder, giving her a hug and promising to pray for her. There are burdens that take our sisters into rough terrain. The raging fire of a broken marriage, a devastating addiction, a child or spouse’s death, financial destruction, or a disease that is life threatening are examples of some of these great burdens. Sometimes the only way that they can keep moving forward is when a sturdy and faithful sister comes alongside, picks up the load, and carries it with her. A pack mule mentality will cause us to know what our job is and do it.
Glance back at the attributes of a pack mule. Can you say that your life represents a pack mule mentality or the pampered, finicky lifestyle of a self-centered thoroughbred? The new command that Jesus gave us is simply this…love one another (John 13:34a). One way we can show our love for each other is to carry each other’s burdens. We will never be more like Jesus than the moment we care more for others than we do ourselves. He showed us how…let’s follow His lead.
You can read more about Amy here.