The Best Kind of Horses Are Strangers' Horses


The four of us were barreling down a winding road in northern Minnesota, looking for a stranger crazy enough to let us ride their horse.

Somewhere deep inside, I still feel that stubborn confidence. I close my eyes, and I still see the sky dust floating through the field. I still feel the gentle breeze colliding against my frame. I remember the crackling voice telling Kasey & I to come on in, and the old man in a smelly blue bathrobe watching the football game with his back turned to us inside.

I remember hearing the word “no” a lot that day. I remember whisking down that old road—my hand jutting out the window toward the sunset—and the “yes” I felt humming in the mild October air.

I’m not sure how to put it in words. Maybe it’s like we were magnetized by some dangerous power. You know, the rare kind of power that sends excited jolts up your chest & carbonates laughter up & out of your lungs. The kind of power that woos with wonder.

The four of us pulled up along a dirt driveway as the sun kept descending in front of us. Sylvia was our age, clad in tattered jeans and a dirty racing association t-shirt. Her boyfriend, Kyle, was over a little ways feeding the horses Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

We told them the story: four college kids getting back from a retreat in northern Minnesota, looking to cross riding a stranger’s horse off the ol’ bucket list. Just like the others, we waited for them to give us a reason why we couldn’t do it.

But they didn’t. Sylvia said yes & told us not to tell her grandma. I punched the air a few times, lifting my fists to the sky. She tried to explain to her grandma that we were just lost & really excited about getting gas. They led us through wind-kissed pastures. They might as well have been clouds.

I don’t know about you, but maybe the most frustrating thing about my life is that I spend so little of it like that & almost all of it being afraid.

I mean, I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me. I’m afraid of what will happen when I graduate and I’m up to my ears in good ol' fashioned Bethel debt. I’m afraid of falling out of love with Kasey one day. I’m afraid because everybody at my school seems to know where they’re going and I don’t have any friggin’ clue. I’m afraid I’ll spend my life being afraid of stupid things.

But I’m still tempted by that afternoon over a year ago. It’s like a ghost, and I can’t decide if it’s a good one or a bad one. Sometimes it makes me feel inadequate because I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to live like that. Other times it makes me feel like I’ve become something less since then.

But sometimes it feels magnetic. Like a rare kind of power that sends excited jolts up my chest & carbonates laughter up & out of my lungs. It haunts my imagination with cloudless hopes in the middle of my mostly cloudy life. It moves me forward like a gentle summer breeze behind my back. It laughs and sings and dreams about the stuff waiting to explode beneath the surfaces of our life when all we want to do is complain about what actually is.

It’s something beautiful, and it's fashioned out of our real, actual lives.

I’m starting this blog because I’m on a journey, and I think you’re on one, too. We're both living messy lives, sure, but we're looking for something really, truly good to come out of them too.

So feel free to join me wherever you are. The kind of beautiful I’m looking for isn’t dressed up in pure white light. It’s tattered khakis & hand-me-down plaids, home-spun authenticity wondering what to do with our one and only beautiful life. I’m trying to follow Jesus and believe that he’s still up to stuff in our world, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got a meaning to all the pain or an answer to all the questions. My honest questions are brutal & their answers aren't always immediate.

I’m just trev, you’re just you, and we’re just a bunch of people trying to make something beautiful out of life’s raw stuff.

So tell me: what is it, friends, that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

-trev

#beauty #journey #stories

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