It was one of those splendid mornings in early spring that are like little trailers for the blockbuster film that is summer; a taste, a touch of the loveliest parts of summer. Today’s special summer treat was that hot, bright, golden sunshine that simply screams “Africa”. In winter the sunlight is balmy and brittle; the sunrises peachy-pink, and the sky almost translucent, the palest and most delicate blue. In summer, everything is warmer, brighter, nearer. The sky is as deeply blue as a lake filled with sapphires. The sunlight spills out over the grand hills, over the marching forest in a golden flood so brightly coloured that you could almost reach out and grab a handful of the stuff, to rub its warmth against your skin and roll in its richness like a kitten in flowers.
It was one of those mornings, and the sunlight came early, seven o’ clock as the mighty fireball clambered out over the hills. The horses had just finished their breakfast and were at their water trough, drinking, when a beautiful fallow doe came skipping down the fenceline on impossibly long legs. Immediately, the horses’ heads shot up and their ears tipped forward to watch the graceful creature dancing her way down the hill. One ever-curious horse, my young, dark grey Nooitgedachter Sport Horse mare Arwen, stepped away from the others and into the flooding sunlight, and that’s when I captured this shot.
For me, this picture symbolises how solitary we are in our choices. Every decision you make, everything you do, is ultimately your responsibility, and your whole life is up to you. Let me tell you right now, right here, as someone who has been on both sides of the coin, that the best thing you can do with your life is to relinquish your proud grip upon it and to lay it down at the foot of the Cross. You’d be amazed how much better it is when that special Person we know as Jesus Christ picks it up and hands it right back to you.
But no one will make you do it except for you. It’s your life and God gave it to you alone, and whether you’ll give it back and watch it blossom is your choice. No one can make it for you and no one can force you into it. You are solitary that choice, but I promise that when you make it, when you say “I’m Yours, Sir,” you will never, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, be solitary again.
The world is in the ship, sailing on a storm-tossed sea, and the ship is doomed to sink and rot on the seabed forever. But you don’t need to worry. Your Lifeguard walks on water.