S: A Lesson Learned
FC: A Lesson in the Forest
1: Written and edited by Sarah Mackintosh Photography thanks to Christina, Sarah, and Grace Mackintosh
3: The author with her horses
5: Published on April 16, 2012 By Mixbook.com
7: Dedicated to my dear mother, Grace Mackintosh, for her loving kindness and sacrifices for my sisters and me.
9: It was a lovely spring afternoon. Diana, Anna, and Jenny were riding their horses through the woods. The air was so fresh and warm, they thought nothing could get better. Diana jumped over a log, and her long and curly brown hair bounced up and down as she trotted back to the group. Her green eyes sparkled.
10: Anna grinned as her stocky pony propelled himself over the brush. “Good boy, Toby,” she patted him on the neck. The three girls took turns jumping the small log. Jenny's horse, Bullet, seemed eager to go higher. She began to get bored and look around for a better jump.
11: “I'll be back in a bit. I want to look for a bigger jump. This one is so small.” “Don't get hurt!” They told her. She looked at them, disgusted. “I won't!” | Jenny felt proud as she rode off. After all, she was the smallest in the group, being only 11 years old, and yet she had the biggest horse. She smiled and patted Bullet's sleek shoulder.
12: “Perfect!” She told herself. There was a 2 foot high pile of brush to jump! Something inside her said, “No, don't do it. You are not ready.” She shook it off. “I'm a really good rider. I am way too good to fall off.” With these thoughts, her pride got very big. She smiled to herself, “I can do this!” Again, the feeling came back. “No, don't do it!” But she ignored it.
13: Jenny could feel her heart beating as she started towards the jump. Suddenly, her hands slipped on the reins. She felt herself sliding off the side. But just in time, she grabbed the pommel of the saddle and steadied herself. She leaned forward as they approached the log and soared over with him.
14: “Yes! I did it!” She yelled as she and the horse came swooping down. But then, everything went wrong! She felt Bullet's body swerve to the left. The next instant she was flying through the air, and landed with a hard thump on the dirt. Her breath was knocked out of her and the sky spun above her. She closed her eyes and suddenly she heard the voices of her friends.
16: “Jenny, are you alright?” Diana asked. “Come on, let's take her home.” They worked together to help her up and took her and Bullet home. Jenny's grandmother came out to meet them. She noticed Jenny's scuffed helmet. Inside the house, the whole sad story spilled out of Jenny's mouth. She cried as she felt the results of falling. Bruises were forming and she would be sore for quite a few days.
17: “Jenny, God often punishes bad behavior. You were very proud. This is a good Bible verse to remember: 'When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.' Proverbs 11:2.” As Jenny thought about what Grandmother had told her, she realized that God had been telling her to stop being so proud.
18: That night, as Jenny was getting into bed, she got on her knees and prayed, “Lord, help me to be more humble. Take away my pride. I want you in my heart. Amen.”