Tame the Pony!
I preached today about optimism and pessimism. A story I told was taken from a joke that President Ronald Regan often told about the twin boys: one was optimistic the other was depressed and pessimistic. As the story goes, the optimistic brother happily shovels a pile of manure and remarks to the befuddled onlookers that “With all this manure there has to be a pony somewhere.”
The points I made in my sermon were the following: In life we have to look for the pony, find the pony, tame the pony and then get on the pony and ride that pony.
Think for a moment about what taming the pony represents. To me, taming the pony is the cultivation of a blessing. Many people have God given gifts, but the real question is what will we do with our blessings? It is one thing to be blessed with a voice that can carry a tune, but a whole other thing to cultivate that voice and push it so that it matures and travels to a zone much farther than its starting point. This is true for the athlete. It is also true for the intellectual. It is also true for the preacher. I am in my 29th year as pastor and continue to be fascinated when long term members come up to me and tell me how much I am growing as a preacher. I find it humbling because I thought from the very beginning I was an effective preacher, but when I listen to people say “You are really growing in your ministry” it is a reminder to me that maybe I was not as developed as I thought I was.
So, back to the pony: the challenge is after we find the pony is to tame or cultivate the pony and then ride that pony. Have you ever stopped to take count of your blessings? After counting your blessings, ask yourself, “Have I taken the time to build upon the blessings the good Lord has given to me?”
Galatians 6: 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. 
Questions for Reflection:
- What does this scripture say to you about what to do with an opportunity?
- How difficult is it to work for the good of all?
Lord, open my eyes for the opportunities you have placed before me. Help me to see what you want me to see, feel what you want me to feel and know what you want me to know. After I have found the blessing, grant me the strength to do what you want me to do Lord, help me to not only find the blessing, but cultivate the blessing, live the blessing and be the blessing to all whom I might meet. Through Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
Nicholas Hood III Ministries – www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ga 6:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.