A parable for Epiphanytide

There were two horses in a fenced field on a winter day. The land had been in a long drought, and though fresh grass had sprouted thanks to recent rains, there was little of it in this field. Yet the horses’ master did not want them to starve, so he had bought good hay and placed a good-sized stack in the field for the horses to eat.

One horse ate the hay. One horse kept trying desperately to graze at a barren patch where all the new grass had already been eaten away.

Which of these horses did his master’s will?

I had been trying to formulate a post on what we look for when we, like the Wise Men, seek for God; the question arose from memories of a former friend who, while attending seminary, foolishly believed that no one who doesn’t have an MDiv or ThD has anything of value to say on the topic of theology. Then I saw these two horses while my dad and I were out shopping, but I hadn’t been able to ponder the sight much beyond “There’s a sermon in there somewhere….”
When I showed the above to my friend Enola G. Freeman, though, she came up with the following application (“with no apologies for shamelessly borrowing from the Apostle Paul”):

Too often we see the truths of God and consider it too good for us, that we are unfit for it, so we leave it for the “experts” — while we slowly starve. We wait for them to feed us, when God has given us His Word to read and our minds — touched by the Spirit — and our imaginations to be used. We are COMMANDED to seek His truth for ourselves, but — rebelliously — we seek to be fed like babies when we should be consuming filet mignon.

Plus, godly counsel and insight aren’t limited to people who’ve had seminary training. My ex-friend may have outgrown his snobbish folly by now–at least I hope he has–but what wisdom he surely missed while he was unwilling to listen to a grandmother or cowboy or young person whose only learning came from the same Book that ought to have formed the basis of all his studies! They might be as “common” as hay, but if they’re listening to the Holy Spirit, their words are worth more than the tired old barren earth of certain circles of academe.

As we enter this new year with whatever other resolutions we may have made, let’s also resolve to ask God’s help in purifying our hearts so that our spiritual eyes will be open to see Him wherever He wants to meet us–in His Word, in a book, in a molecule, or even in a boring old haystack on a winter’s day.


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