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Thursday
Mar212013

Seabiscuit: How the horse's trainer saw the heart underneath the brokenness

 

It takes someone with eyes to see your glory.

Seabiscuit was one of the most unlikely racehorse success stories in history.  Given his physical geometry, he shouldn't have been considered for championship racing any more than a child's boxy rockinghorse with blunted legs.  Rather than a sleek, aerodynamic grace, he had a body roughly-shaped like a brick, with short stumps for legs and squarish bucked knees.  Further, his legs wouldn't straighten completely, as if he was an elderly man shuffling forward with a bent-kneed hunch.  To bet on Seabiscuit would have been like betting on a St. Bernard in a greyhound race.

The horse walked with an awkward gait many mistook for lameness.  And when he ran, he comically moved in what some called an "eggbeater gait," jerking his left foreleg out and wide, like he was furiously shooing away a pestering hornet.

Upon examining Seabiscuit, veterinarians had pronounced him only "serviceably useful;" but in this horse, his would-be trainer, Tom Smith, "knew there was something lying dormant." [1] 


But Seabiscuit had heart. 

Seabiscuit had heart, despite all outward appearances.  Trainer Tom Smith, and owner Charles Howard, saw it.  Under Smith's unconventional training, the horse became the champion Smith always saw in him.

Here's what the horse's owner, Charles Howard, said when he first met the "Biscuit:"

I can't describe the feeling he gave me...but somehow I knew he had what it takes.  Tom and I realized that we had our worries and troubles ahead.  We had to rebuild him, both mentally and physically, but you don't have to rebuild the heart when it's already there, big as all outdoors."  [2]


You don't have to rebuild the heart when it's already there. 
That's your story.  When you entered into friendship with Jesus, he removed the heart that bucked in the chute and crashed against the rails, then replaced it with the racing prowess and potency of a Man O' War, Secretariat, or a Seabiscuit.

You don't rebuild something God has already built.  You don't need to beg for any more holiness, righteousness, or goodness.  Rather, you're invited to cooperate with God as he releases what he's already put within you.  You don't have to rebuild the heart when it's already there:  Trust the heart and heft of what he's already built. 

There may be renovation yet to be done to get your body and your mind tracking with your new nature; but for now,  you've got heart.  The rest will come.

[1] Excerpted from Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand, p. 44

[2] Excerpted from Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand, p. 45

 

 

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