There is a story of an old horse that fell into a dry well. The old horse was mildly injured from the fall, and, due to the shape and size of the well, the people trying to help the horse could not get it out with the limited tools they had.
After some discussion, they decided it would be best to put the old horse out of its misery. They could not safely fire a gun into the well, as they could not see the horse or the bottom of the well and the chance of a ricocheted bullet was too high. As they discussed their options, one person had the idea of simply throwing dirt in to bury the horse to quicken its release from its suffering.
The people there grabbed shovels and started throwing dirt into the old well. Shovelful after shovelful went into the well. They were surprised by how much dirt it was taking to cover the horse, as they could still hear the horse’s neighs coming from the well.
Eventually, they could see the top of the horse. As they watched, they realized that for each shovelful of dirt thrown, the horse would shake the dirt off of its back and then step on the dirt. In this way, the dirt that was meant to bury the horse was becoming the foundation for it to rise.
I have often thought about this old horse. Despite being injured and trapped in an apparently hopeless situation, the horse used the power that it still had to take the obstacles thrown at it and turn them into stepping stones to rise.
As I thought on these things, another story came to mind - that of Jesus walking on the water. The Bible tells of a time that Jesus walked to his disciples when they were in a boat. Peter asked if he too could walk on the water. According to the story, Peter left the boat and walked on the water for a time, until he saw the wind and the waves around him.
Once he begin to fear, he begin to sink, while in contrast, the old horse rose as he acted in faith, still believing that it was not the end.
I have often wondered if the only difference between trials, obstacles, and stepping stones is my perception of them. If the water represents trials and problems, those can certainly overwhelm and make us feel that we are drowning at times. Yet, is it possible to not drown in our trials, but instead walk on top of them?
I know many people of great faith, yet I do not know someone that has walked on liquid water. I also don’t know personally of any old horses that have fallen into dry wells. So, is there any truth to either of these stories?
As an attorney I have worked with many people in difficult situations. Business failures, partnership disputes, bad accidents, divorces, murder, serious rifts in families, etc. The problems can, at times, come like a flood.
As I watch how the bad situations affect various people, I have seen some that sink and some that rise, despite the bad coming at them.
Maybe the story of walking on the water isn’t about H2O. Maybe it is about the power of faith versus fear in overcoming the floods of life. Perhaps we all can walk on the waters, or problems, of life.
All of us will fear. There will always be moments, days, weeks, or years where it seems hopeless. I do not believe that all is lost because some fear entered our hearts for a time.
The difference, to me, is whether we choose to accept the logical limits that fear gives us. Fear imposes boundaries to what is possible. In contrast, faith is boundless and opens a world of possibilities. With fear informing our thinking, the bad is bad, the water drowns, and the old well is insurmountable.
When we allow faith to inform our thinking, the bad always comes with the potential for good, the old well can be climbed out of, and the water can be walked on.
There is a way. There is always a way, especially as we reach inside to the divine that exists within us all.
Faith unlocks the doors that fear has bolted shut.
So, if you find yourself in a rough spot or a tough stretch of life, think about the old horse, or Peter, or others that have risen above the challenges.
You can do it too. You can walk on the waters of your life, you can rise from the dry wells, you can reach your potential, despite all that has happened in your life.
You can take this time of life and turn it into something good for you, as well as for others, and it all starts with deciding to believe it is possible.
At Believe, we have faith in the power of each individual to face what life gives them and to rise above, to shape their life in a positive way, and to change the world, for good. If you find yourself stuck, needing help, desiring to start believing in your potential, or anywhere along the path, we would love to have you join us. We don’t have all of the answers for every person, but our community seeks to uplift and inspire those we work with to be their best selves and to overcome the challenges of the day.
You can change the world, for good. We fully believe it, and hope that you do as well.