Through the desert on a horse with no name

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 24, 2021

By Jan Miller Penton

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name; it felt good to be out of the rain.

The amount of rain we have had lately made me wonder what the lyrics of this song from my youth actually meant. I always liked this particular song, but like so many others from the seventies the writer could have been talking about the drug culture. I’ll look it up in a bit. At any rate, these days it is definitely good to get out of the rain if only for a day or two.

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My pastor is on sabbatical this month, and the visiting preacher spoke on the need for believers to have a different attitude from the rest of the world. He shared how the Apostle Paul had a wonderful attitude even when he was in chains. His grace under pressure caused the people around him to know that he was for real.

What a challenging message this was. The Apostle Paul was super human, right? I mean he encountered Jesus on the Damascus Road, and his life took a dramatic turn. In our day we couldn’t possibly be expected to walk in peace when we are facing life’s challenges, this same way. Or could we?

This message was right on for me because I like to tell myself that it’s only natural when the stressors of this life affect my behavior in a negative way. But the reality is we serve a supernatural God who makes hard things possible. Maybe I could change my attitude and enjoy the rainy days instead of grumbling. Rainy days are always a good time to do some baking, or writing, or reading. Now, if only I remember these thoughts when those storm clouds come rolling in!

This week I met one of the rudest people I have come across in a long time. I won’t go into the gory details, but he seemed to go out of his way to spread unpleasantness, and to make matters worse I was paying him! 

The work was completed half-heartedly, and somewhat sloppily, but it was completed. I stewed over this for several hours, and felt quite indignant, but I know deep in my heart that I can chose to let this go, though I really don’t feel like it. I could go so far as to have a gracious and forgiving heart. Perhaps this person just received some very bad news, or then again, maybe he was just a real jerk.  In the past, I thought showing kindness and forgiveness when someone was obviously in the wrong showed weakness. How very wrong I was! Biting back the unkind or sarcastic remark and giving what we all hope to receive, grace, is extremely difficult, but with God’s help it can be done.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I did research the story behind the song Horse With No Name, and it had nothing to do with drugs. It was, however, quite interesting so meet me here again next week, and I’ll tell you all about it.