It’s a bit of an odd phrase but it’s one that works for me and has stuck with me for the last couple of years. It really helps me to explain what I’m feeling and make decisions in my life without feeling bad about it (which is great, because I don’t really like change or making decisions).
Not that I’ve ever sat on a dead horse, but I can imagine that it’d be a pretty horrible experience. I mean, it’s lying there, maybe the body’s heat is leaving it, the muscles and organs that used to move so powerfully are now just a lump of flesh, not going anywhere. Or maybe it’s decaying and flies are getting in and it’s turning into just bones and stench.
I read this magazine article by Joyce Meyer a few years ago and never really forgot it. She asked the question, are you sitting on a dead horse? I think she gave a biblical story behind it, I don’t remember what it was, but in any case… it’s true.
Sometimes life changes underneath us. Something that we used to find so thrilling, exciting, engaging, and energising, isn’t anymore. It used to be the highlight of our week, and now we get out of bed dragging our feet. It can take a while for me to realise that it’s dead. When you used to love it so much, it can feel like a betrayal, a let-down, a break of my word, a disappointment, and even a bit of an identity crisis. And if you’re like me, you don’t know how to get out of it.
But the thing is, sometimes life changes. We grow up, people move in or out of our lives, we need more stimulation, it is the right time or our responsibility to pick up other commitments, or somebody else’s availability changes. There can be heaps of reasons why something so special to us isn’t so special anymore.
And it’s okay. There is a season for everything under heaven. Life will inevitably ebb and flow. We change, people change, the situations change. It stinks sometimes, but we aren’t in control of our lives. God however, is (thank goodness!) and so, it’s okay. It’s okay to realise that something isn’t working for you anymore and it’s time to move on to something else.
So don’t feel bad about leaving that club or group that you invested so stinkin’ much into. Don’t think it’s all on you that you and your bestie have grown further apart, or freak out because she’s making different choices to you. Don’t force obligation on yourself to help out the same way, read the same type of books, see things as black-and-white as you used to, fight to win that argument you’ve always fought for, keep on studying what you’ve been studying, or do the same things you used to do.
(there are lots and lots of times that you can’t just get up and aleave your commitments. I’m not saying that we can bail out when the going gets tough or are tired, at all. if we’ve committed to a relationship, a job, a course, a whatever – there is something important about finishing what you started and being a person of your word. But sometimes, things have run their course and it’s time to move on.)
Sometimes that powerful, beautiful, helpful, strong horse under you is going to die. It’s not going to meet your needs or other’s needs anymore and is just not flowing in the direction your life is moving in or the priorities God has given you . We need to let that horse go. Hop off it and make a change. Besides, a dead horse is a stinky horse, and I’d much rather ride a live one. 🙂
If doing what you are doing feels like you are banging your head up against a brick wall, if you’ve lost your zing for it, if you feel like doing it is going against who you are now, your new convictions, and the stage of life you’re now in – bascially if you’ve lost your joy for it, maybe it’s time to move on, say no, take a step back, make a change, and hop off that dead horse! The horse stinks, it’s not going to take you anywhere, and as they say, adventure is out there.
If the horse has been dead 10 years, it’s time to dismount. If God is finished with something, don’t keep trying to do it on your own because it will never bear any good fruit. –Joyce Meyer