Horses don’t care that I am a World Champion Breeder and Trainer. They don’t care about anything I’ve done past or present that didn’t involve them. Why should they? Accomplishments and titles aren’t nearly as important to the wise and simple horse as the answers to weighty questions like, “What have you done for me lately?” and “What time is dinner?”
When a little child climbs up onto your lap, how impressed is he or she by your resume, awards, or certificates suitable for framing? Little kids don’t care if you are the new Super Bowl MVP, the President of the United States, or the latest Nobel Laureate. No World Championship title has a prayer of winning a contest with an ice cream cone. Little boys and girls may be momentarily distracted by a shiny bronze trophy, but that interest disappears faster than you can say “has been” the instant you mention ice cream.
When I was still counting my age in single digits my grandmother managed a nursing home/care center. During visits I accompanied her to work. (What else was she going to do with me on days I wasn’t at my uncle’s place learning delightful and fantastic new things about animals and farming?) There were two floors of residents, those who got around on their own and those who didn’t. Non-ambulatory residents were on the second floor. My playmates lived on the first floor. When I was a kid I figured that everyone was young until they moved upstairs where the old folks lived.
My best buddy, 70+ years my senior
My favorite buddy at the home was Reverend Nielsen. His lifetime of service was something of note to folks who cared about such things. I certainly didn’t. He was fun. He paid attention to me. We played together. He had lemon drops. He sent me cards throughout the school year when I was back home. And he could make his teeth move up and down! No one was more special than Reverend Nielsen. He was the only one I knew with removable teeth. If memory serves, I think I told everybody I met for at least a week about his teeth. He was fascinating! He was a very special friend to an otherwise lonely little girl and I adored him.
When it comes to relationships that matter, trophies, titles, and awards have little value. There’s a lot of similarity between God, little kids, and horses. Reverend Nielsen and I enjoyed spending time together. His accomplishments over the span of a long distinguished career weren’t the least bit interesting to me. We liked each other. He could take out his teeth – what else mattered?
If you’re not familiar with horses I have a few interesting pieces of information to share:
- Horses don’t care how pretty you are.
- Horses don’t care how much money you have.
- Horses don’t care who your family is, and
- Horses don’t care who you know.
Horses only care about who you are in relationship to them and if you can be trusted.
You probably already know the truth of these statements about children:
- Little children don’t care how pretty you are.
- Little children don’t care how much money you have.
- Little children don’t care who your family is, and
- Little children don’t care who you know.
Little children only care about you are in relationship to them and if you can be trusted.
What about God?
- Does God care how pretty you are?
- Does God care how much money you have?
- Does God care who your family is, and
- Does God care who you know?
Like horses and little children, God cares most about who you are in relationship to Him. Unlike horses and kids, God already knows if you are trustworthy.
Trophies, titles, and awards will never carry much weight in personal relationships. If they do, the relationship probably isn’t really a personal one. (Just a hint.) Horses are simple. Children are simple. Jesus tells us that we must become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.
If you ever need to choose sides, remember, in most instances ice cream is more important than bronze trophies.