Jack is back. You may remember Jack, the stray miniature donkey that was really a miniature horse. He lives in Blue Springs with his family, but he is a terrible rambler. In fact, he is the worst prodigal I have ever seen. Never content at home, he escapes as often as possible. His ramblings have frequently brought him to visit my horses. When he was arrested for getting in the street a while back, he was returned to his family, who intensified their efforts to contain him.
I didn't see Jack for weeks, and thought the prodigal had finally changed. Early one morning last week, I headed to the barn, put out feed, and let the horses in for their breakfast. When I went back to let them out, I opened Belle's stall door and out walked Jack! He was visiting again. Since all my previous efforts with Jack were futile, I just let him into the pasture and sent word to his owners.
Jack didn't come back for a few days, and I was optimistic. As I headed up the driveway last Thursday, though, I had a surprise. Jack was tied to a tree, patiently waiting for his owners to come get him again. Before his arrest, I had watched him crawl back and forth under my fence like it was a wonderful game. There is no way I can contain him. I don't know what his owners will have to do to keep him home, but it seems a nearly insurmountable problem.
What's amazing to me is that the owners keep coming to get him and they keep trying to, well, keep him. I would have given up on this little horse long ago. Their perseverance with Jack is surprising, but their constant, consistent efforts makes me think of something Peter wrote.
"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 NASB)
Maybe Jack's owners hope he will finally change and be the stay-at-home horse they meant him to be, and I hope that, too. His wanderings are really pesty, though, and I wonder if my own ramblings are as pesty to God. Of course, God 's hopes for us are as high as Jack's family's are for him. That's why He constantly, consistently takes us back from our wanderings, keeping us safe until we finally decide to be where and who He meant us to be.
Are you a faith-rambler? Do you wander to and from faithfulness to our Lord, or stay close beside Him all the time? Jack's ramblings have caused him to miss out on the closeness of a family that loves him. What have your ramblings cost you? Stay close, dear ones. Stay close.