Born to Run

Ages ago, a friend used an expression unknown to me that registered and has become one of my personal bylines.  As we were discussing a long-forgotten issue, he said, “You can’t make a racehorse out of a mule.”  Over time, I’ve seen this truth expressed in a thousand guises.  It is accurate in human, animal and mechanical applications.  Simply put, organisms and objects are made for different things.  That which may be fine to outstanding in one endeavor, may be total inappropriate if not dangerous in another.  While it could be argued that we all need have certain strengths (I’d make that argument myself), it is likewise true that we are all different, and the differences themselves give strength, as well as, aggravation.

If I’m at Churchill Downs, I need a racehorse.  No other mount will do in that context.  Anything else would be like taking a Yugo to a tractor pull.  I need to use the best model I’m able to muster in whatever contest, but strength in one area does not equate to strength in all areas.  For instance, thoroughbreds can be temperamental, and their sleek physiques display unique weaknesses.  Though a pony express rider needed a swift steed, other types of horses were more fit for that job which required more than hurry.  Speed does not necessarily translate to stamina, and stamina is not always the same as strength.  The exact concepts apply among humans in all aspects of being.  There are not many totally packages outside of wrestling. 

The ride of ancient kings, the mule, is what you want if you need a tireless bearer of burdens for a long day of work.  Not only is the animal strong, its willfulness is proverbial, and it is unlikely to complain.  As a plus, this stalwart is not likely to slip or slide even in adverse conditions.  Progressing with measured steps as a living, breathing conveyor belt, it is easy to see why this hybrid could be called on to pull John Deere out of the mud.  On the farm, we were cautioned not to walk behind the beast lest we feel the power first-hand.  In my youth, there was a soft drink (now defunct) named Kick with the tag-line “like a mul”e.  It was never my practice to get close enough to the animals to test the accuracy of the warning.   

Depending on the circumstances, a racehorse or a mule may be useful though not in the same applications.  Sometimes, speed is needed, but the swift horse is not normally hardy or strong.  A mule is sure-footed, but he’s slow.  The animals are fit for varying uses and have places to fill in the created order.  While it is possible to use a horse in a mule’s job, the degree of success is lessened in the endeavor though need may drive the attempt.  I have used things other than a hammer to drive a nail, but they don’t do as good a job and engender and encourage frustration.  Appropriate measures require appropriate means to achieve appropriate outcomes.   

Whatever our strengths and weaknesses, we are all fit for something.  There are certain exercises which will be common among us regardless of faculty, but there are areas of particular strengths in all of us.  God made you to exert yourself in certain arenas in a personal way.  None of us were meant to be stationary in life, and God has a way of keeping us moving.  He can direct us through conversation or circumstance, and we may not know it is He that is leading until we reach the final destination.  Hopefully, we will sense His hand, but the full picture made of small pieces will be best seen at its completion.  Until that day, we will keep moving because vagabonds as we were born to run.

Sterl

 

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