The Wrong Horse

Two Kentucky farmers who owned racing stables had developed a keen rivalry. One spring, each of them entered a horse in a local steeplechase. Thinking that a professional rider might help him outdo his friend, one of the farmers engaged a crack jockey. The two horses were leading the race at the last fence, but it proved too tough for them. Both horses fell, unseating their riders. But this calamity did not stop the professional jockey. He quickly remounted and won the race.

Returning triumphant to the paddock, the jockey found the farmer who had hired him fuming with rage. “What’s the matter?” the jockey asked. “I won, didn’t I?”

“Oh, yes,” roared the farmer. “You won all right, but you still don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?” asked the jockey.

“You won the race on the wrong horse!”

While this situation does not occur often at horse races, it happens in every human life. Each of us, trying hard to win the race, tends to climb on the wrong horse. If we do not discover our error, we cross the finish line a triumphant failure.

Jesus labels this faulty human reflex with a noun from the Old Testament: sin. He says an Old Testament verb is the only cure for it: repent.

Source: Herb Miller. Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989, p. 15.
Contributed by: John Williams III

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