The Missing Inner-Gredient


When you select a prospect to train for a barrel horse, there are many things that help determine the possibilities of it becoming a great horse.  The breeding is important.  It will give you a history of the abilities to perform in their family.  The conformation is important.  A horse will break down under pressure at the weakest point in his conformation.  These are only a couple of ingredients to consider when spending money on a prospect. 


The one thing you cannot do is look into their mind.  You can get an idea of mental attitude from being around them and studying their breeding history, but you cannot really know what you have until you begin to compete and clock the horse.  Some horses have an extra grit that shows up under speed and pressure.  These category 1 horses can become great and run those fast times that put them on the top.  They often run on any kind of ground and try their hearts out.  There are not many of this kind of horse which makes them very expensive to purchase.  Other horses lack this extra ingredient.  They can become nice horses and run close to the top horses, but stay in category 2.  Category 2 horses are much more common than category 1 horses.  Category 1 horses are rare. 


There is a missing ingredient in today's society that I hear people talk about often.  Just this week I counted 5 times that someone mentioned the lack of this ingredient.  It is the ingredient of integrity.  Integrity is defined as:  a firm adherence to a code or moral values; undivided; committed, honesty.    If you stop and think about integrity, it is actually who you are, what code you live by and how you act in everyday life.  You become known by your integrity.  People can seem one way, but you really don't know what their code or moral values are until you deal with them in business or in a personal relationship. 


Integrity is:  Finishing the things that you start. Telling someone you are going to do something and doing it.  Saying you will be somewhere at 1:00 P..M. and being there on time or before.  Keeping your word and being on time is an important part of who you are.  When we don't keep our word, we are divided, uncommitted and to be downright blunt.....dishonest. 


It is no longer common to see people who walk in integrity.  They are special and very rare.  I often have people scheduled to come look at a horse to purchase and tell me that they can only come on say a Wednesday.  I will then move my whole schedule to accommodate them, and they don't come or even bother to telephone and let me know.  This is happening more and more often.  When someone schedules a lesson and is late, it throws off the whole day for other people. 


When you stop and think about this, you have made an agreement with someone when you schedule a lesson or agree to meet for any reason.  If you show up late or not at all, you have actually put yourself above that person.  You had no respect for that person's time.  Of course, there are times when things cannot be avoided. Then, we need to bust our behinds to let them know.   We Christians should walk in the highest of integrity in our lives.  We should count the cost before committing ourselves to anything.  I had a hard lesson in this last year.


I committed to teach for one school year in Benbrook, Texas helping to establish a Christian Horse College for horse trainers.  This meant that every Monday morning I loaded my 3 horse trailer and drove 3 hours to school.  On Wednesday evenings, I would load up and drive back home.  About 3 months into this commitment, my left arm began locking up in the shoulder area.  I could only lift it so high and the pain was awful.  I was driving to Benbrook one Monday morning and thinking about how I could resign from this commitment.  I turned on the radio and the speaker was talking about the lack of integrity and follow through in our society today.  He said there were a bunch of starters and very few finishers.  He gave this scripture:  Psalm 15:4  Swear to your hurt and change NOT.  In the Living Bible it reads:  the faithful followers of the Lord keeps a promise even if it ruins him.  (do what you say you are going to do)  I memorized that scripture and when the pain was bad, I would say the scripture and determine to change NOT and to keep my word. 


I said all that to testify of this:  The year came and went and I made every trip with the help of the Lord.  As soon as the last class was over, I spent the next 3 months getting a shoulder procedure and therapy to fix the shoulder.  The blessings that came from keeping that commitment will never end.  God blessed me even more than the students at the college.  I learned by this experience that God will see us through and then bless us for keeping our word. 


Think this week about the great horse that follows through and stays honest, committed, determined, undivided and lives up to what he is capable of.  If you were a horse, which category would you be in?  What are you known by? 


We have a perfect example of great integrity to follow.  Jesus Christ set his face like a rock to carry out the mission that he came to earth to fulfill.  He lived with a purpose to be a sacrifice for you and me.  He was on time and followed through even in times of great suffering.  May we examine ourselves in the area of integrity this week.  May we be able to say as the Psalmist:  Psalm 7:8  The Lord judges the people; judge me, O Lord, and do me justice according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. 

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Copyright 2004 - 2011 Joyce Loomis-Kernek
Last modified: January 05, 2014