Romans 15:1: “Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’”

Strength has a purpose. When it comes to purposeful use of strength we can learn a lot from the horses.

In 2004, Claudia Feh raised a herd of Przewalski horses in France and reintroduced some of them to their natural habitat, the Mongolian Gobi Desert. Niobe Thompson, a Canadian anthropologist and documentary film maker, interviewed her. The following paragraph is an excerpt of the PBS show “Equus ‘Story of the Horse’-Episode 1: Origins”:

“Horses in the wild are constantly negotiating for a rung in the ladder. Each horse has its place. Hierarchy gives the herds strength and ensures only the fittest stallions get to mate. But surprisingly, it isn’t just the toughest stallions who rise to the top. [Claudia Feh, an expert on social behavior of free-living horses, observed]: ‘The dominance [of a leading horse] is not based on size, it’s not based on physical strength; it’s mental strength; it’s personality. This translates to the horse/human relationship because obviously horses are about 5 to 10 times heavier than its rider. How can we ride a horse? We are so much smaller, and yet we dominate the horse. It’s mental.’”

Horse and its rider is a wonderful example how strength is graciously put to service. Horses allow us to use their strength. Interacting with these beautiful and intelligent beasts and experience the funny quirks of their personalities, the ensuing bond that develops between horse and its rider is very special.

In stark contrast to strength put to good use, there is strength abuse. Using strength to overpower, dominate and hurt the weaker counterpart unfortunately is a common occurrence. In God’s world, however, strength is a gift made to benefit the world around us. We are given strengths, talents, and gifts with the purpose to serve.

Everybody is gifted in some way. The question remains how do we invest our strengths? I dare say, in many cases we’re not even aware of them. Each of our strengths has the potential to be a huge blessing if we’re willing to put them to work by serving a need. The genius about strengths is that they serve a weakness and thereby develop a partnership – because serving somebody never stops there! The ones we serve actually bless us. Service always reaps benefits, the richest benefit being: making new friends. Let’s keep that in mind as we go out and make it a great day.

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