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
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
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.