Monday, October 1, 2012
One of the elders, who is finishing his mission in two weeks, gave a great analogy about Christ and missionaries but I think it relates well to the members of the church. The elder was raised around horses so he loved this analogy when their mission president (who also raises horses) shared it with them. As a horse lover and owner myself, I absolutely understood.
He said there are four types of missionaries and they are like horses. The first type are the green missionaries. Like a green-broke horse they have to be constantly trained and retrained, reminded and corrected to do what the Master needs them to do.
Then they progress and become like the second type. They are like a well-broke horse. They only need occasional cues to perform their tasks—a slight heel to the girth or a tap on the reins. You can trust them to go out and do what they are being asked.
Most horses, missionaries and members remain in this well-broke category for the rest of their lives. They never progress beyond this stage but they are dependable and they do the work when asked. They may need a bit of prodding every now and then, but they are trustworthy and know the routine.
Then there is a third level, where the horses are responsive enough they become like cutting horses. The Master rides the horse into the herd, cuts out an individual cow, and can then drop the reins. He knows the horse will do the rest.
The horse knows he is not supposed to let that cow get back to the herd and he watches that cow on his own and thinks and moves and keeps that cow separated until it can be doctored and cared for. He will stay at that difficult task until the Master reclaims the reins and asks him to stop.
However, a fourth level exists--in horses and missionaries. These are those who have spent so much time with the Master they no longer need even a saddle or bridle. They know the Master. They know what the Master needs and they work in unison with Him to achieve something magical. He then compared that level of closeness, understanding, freedom and choice to the horses owned by Staci Westfall. Of course, I’ve known about Staci for a long time so I absolutely knew what he was talking about.
He said he wanted to work with the Master at that fourth level for the rest of his life.
He had a new missionary ask him, “How do you know if you’ve been a success as a missionary?” and he answered it wasn’t about how many doors you knocked or the number of baptisms you had. “Missionaries are a success when they have grown on their missions and go home with a changed attitude.” (I thought that was pretty cool, too.)
Anyway, here is a great Staci Westfall link to watch. She was competing in the National Horse Congress in the freestyle reining competition where competitors are allowed to create their own reining pattern and then the crowd and judges vote. After all the competitors came out with saddles and bridles on their horses, Staci came out and gave this performance…
While you watch, think about that performance in terms of your efforts for the Savior.
Staci Westfall's Championship Ride-One With The Master