Anyone who knows me knows that I'm horse crazy. I've always loved these beautiful creatures and have taken every opportunity that's presented itself to work with them. I also love the gospel and enjoy pondering scriptures and gospel principles, and I think I've stumbled upon a way to tie them together:
24 ¶ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Here's how I can relate this scripture to horses and humans:
If you want a good saddle horse, one that you can ride safely and enjoy being around, you have to give it a good foundation. Most of the problems people have with horses stem from a lack of ground work (the foundation.) If a horse is trained to be respectful, attentive and responsive on the ground it will usually have the same characteristics under saddle. But if you neglect the foundational training on the ground you can end up with a horse that doesn't listen, is pushy and maybe even dangerous when you try to ride it.
Humans are a lot like horses in a way. It's interesting to realize that a lot of the problems we have tend to result from a lack of foundation in our lives also. If we try to live our lives without Christ as our foundation we are much more likely to stumble along unknown paths and resist the direction that could get us safely home. We are like a willful, disrespectful horse that is pulling against the bridle and trying to go our own way, when our rider (Christ) is only trying to get us safely through the obstacles on the path that lie ahead. The biggest difference between a horse and a human, though, is that we have to build our own foundation. A horse hasn't been given the capacity to read manuals and learn how to be a submissive, respectful animal. It has to have a person teach it.
We, on the other hand, have been given all the tools to help us build a solid foundation: scriptures, the spirit, freedom of choice, church fellowship, etc. Jesus will give us the strength to put each block of our foundation in place, but it's up to us to decide to build, get the supplies and get to work.
Horses are much happier and well adjusted when they understand what their owner/rider wants from them. They can be willing partners who enjoy working. Likewise, we can be happy, well adjusted humans if we learn what God wants from us and then do it. If we have a good foundation we will be content knowing that God wants what's best for us, even if we don't see the end of the path clearly right now.
The difference between having a sandy foundation and a solid one can be night and day. It can mean the difference between living a joyful life with faith to work through the obstacles that come our way, or living a miserable life as we stumble into those same obstacles and constantly question why our life is turning out this way. It's all in the foundation.