Sometimes, as a counselor at Destiny Youth Ranch, I'm tempted to call my girls my "little ducks" or "lambs" since I am basically their caretaker for the weekend - helping them stretch their wings and continually making sure they are doing alright. I feel as though I am shepherding them through a life-changing experience... being around the horses & learning more about God... hopefully while having tons of fun & making new friends! Today I considered how I could compare nurturing relationships in animals with christian mentorship in our new Big Sister/Brother riding program :)
Cygnets = After they are about 1 day old, baby swans (cygnets) can follow their parents into the water. They already know how to swim. But they won’t be able to fly for 7 to 20 weeks. Until then, their parents swim or walk with them. Some swans even carry their young on their backs. Mentors encourage you to know God better, act more like Him &, never give up - even if you sink! They cheer you on as you learn to fly...
Lambs = Baby sheep (lambs) naturally desire to be in groups & follow a leader. They get to know their shepherd's voice so that when he calls, they listen - they know he cares for them & protects them from harm - even carrying lambs on his shoulders. Jesus is compared to a shepherd in the bible as he cares for each & every one of his children - He notices if even one is far from him. He would leave a large flock to find the one lost lamb because each one is so precious to Him. A good mentor will encourage you to pray & read your bible so you can know for yourself what God's desire for you is on a daily basis.
Foals = A baby horse (foal) can stand up almost instantly after it is born, but it isn't very graceful! It will continue to follow its mother around and copy what she does for months/years in order to learn how to behave in the world. A horse goes through a season of training in order to become kind & respectful toward the wishes of his rider. All christians are growing from glory to glory - no matter how long they've been one! Having a mentor/friend to be there for you regularly to teach, encourage, & pray with you is a beautiful gift. They should set a good example for you to emulate, not that they're perfect, but they should consistently seek to become more like Christ.
DYR Mentor = In the beginning, it takes time to learn how to handle a horse safely & effectively, but even more important is that we learn to become more like Christ & seek Him out on a daily basis. Having a christian mentor is a great way to gain wisdom, encouragement, & accountability. You might think you know it all about horses... or about how to be a good christian, but Proverbs 19:20 says: "Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future." Having a person you trust alongside you as you learn anything new, is very important & helpful :)
"Whoever loves instruction/discipline/correction,
loves knowledge..." Proverbs 12:1
"Lord help us to seek correction & instruction
so we that might gain wisdom." Amen
Visit http://www.destinyyouthranch.com/ for more info on this life-changing ministry <3