Ever played the game Two Truths and a Fib? It's the get-to-know-you game where everyone announces two truths about themselves and one fib and the rest guess which is false. Recently I orchestrated this game at our church youth retreat. One of my truths is that I am kinda scared of horses. Horses are large, they have very large heads and extremely large teeth. Sure, they are some of God's most beautiful creatures...particularly when grazing in a far away field.
The day after the youth retreat I was in the parking lot of a local grocery store with four of those kids that heard my fear. A horseback riding group happened to be taking a rest and having a snack in a grassy patch by the store. (Yes, I reside in the boonies.) Our youth group was then invited to go horseback riding in a few weeks.
One modern day cowboy said, "Hey, why not hop on one now?" Gulp. Four sets of eyes found their way to me. Er, uh, umm. A sweet little angel in my group said, "I'll ride!" which bought me some time to think. Oh no! I have to do this.
God used me that moment to show these young people that it is OK to have fears. We also learned it is OK to face your fears as I placed my shaky foot in a stirrup and found my way in a saddle...on the back of a horse! It wasn't so bad. A nice slow short stroll was all. Thankfully, I didn't have to take the advice of another cowboy who grinned and said, "If he takes off start hollering. He goes faster when you holler."