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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stubborn As A Mule


Last night I was trying to record as many memories from my childhood as I could muster up. Not details, but just the basics of those memories. This is supposed to help me with writing fiction. You know, Lord, to enable me to use some of these childhood memories in the stories I write.

One memory jumped out at me. It was those donkeys that Grandpa Ellis had. They came from the drive in theatre when it closed down. Now that shows just how old I am, Lord. I'll bet most of my readers don't even know what a drive-in theatre is.

I remember early each evening before it got dark enough to show the movies on the huge outdoor screen they offered donkey rides. When they closed down my Grandpa bought all the donkeys for next to nothing. He had a corral and shed built and those donkeys became our chief source of entertainment for 2 or 3 years. We fed & watered them, brushed them, walked them, rode them, and spent alot of time arguing with them. They really were stubborn as mules!

Certain ones were their "leaders." If one of them didn't want to move, nobody moved. And if any donkey wasn't in the mood to be bothered by us kids he (or is it she?) just planted all four feet and nothing could budge him (or her.)

I remember once one of them stepped on my foot (in my little flip-flops) and refused to move. All the screaming and yelling and hitting that animal on the rear had no effect at all. That big ole hoof just about smashed my foot flat. Stubborn, stubborn animal!

I shouldn't be so quick to condemn that burrow, though. You already know, Father, I can be just as beligerent as those donkeys at times. I know that stubborness is sometimes a good thing; sometimes it is all that keeps a person alive. But for the most part stubborness gets in the way of progress of any kind. It seriously interferes with relationships, I know.

I don't want to act like an old has-been donkey, Lord. Please remind me BEFORE I plant my feet, throw my ears back, and bristle my hairs like those donkeys. Remind me BEFORE I stomp on other people's feelings, Lord. BEFORE I injure the people around me and maybe destroy a relationship.


Have you chased down the word "stubborn" in My Word, Little One? Depending on which version you prefer you'll find it's always linked up with words like rebellion, pride, stiff hearted, stiff necked, foolish, and defiant. Are those the kinds of words you want associated with your life? Do you want people to stand around your casket someday and use those words to describe you?

I didn't think so. Maybe you prefer words like gentle, flexible, soft-spoken, generous, kind, cooperative, and obedient. Remember, Little One, you're writing your own obituary every day of your life. Live so that you leave behind some kind words for those who mourn your death someday to say about you when the time comes.