Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sacrifice and Compensation

I don't really think Adam looked at God after his first sacrifice and said, "So, uh, can I eat that lamb tenderloin, because it looks ooooohhhh soooo good."

So keep that in mind as you think about the content of this post, its not really about what one gets as a result of sacrifice, but the joy of realizing what comes because of sacrifice.

On Tuesday, August 28, 2005 I was sitting in a small, dusty, garage-type room packed with five computers in Porto Alegre, Brazil. I was planning to attend the Porto Alegre Temple later that afternoon with my friend, Sister Alaina Jordan, but had stopped quickly at an internet cafe to read my weekly family email. As I clicked open the email from my dad, I read these life changing words:
Tamra, Rugrat got out of his pasture on Saturday and was hit by a van. Luckily the people driving were not severely injured, but Rugrat had to be put down. I heard a neigh that night, and I figured it was him thanking me for all the hay I had given him all these years. I'm sure you'll miss him.
Niagara Falls gushed from my tear duct. My horse, my only horse, was dead. I had been the proud owner of horses for more than 12 years. My mind flashed back to the day I had said goodbye to Rugrat. I took him for a long ride around town, galloped him on my favorite trail, and then fed him some carrots while I stroked his neck. As mom and I drove away, he ran the fence line and whinnied as if to say, "I'll miss you."

It's been almost seven years since that gloomy news day in Brazil. Yet as I glance back with my 20/20 vision of perfect understanding, I realize how much the Lord has compensated me in "horses" because I left mine to do His work.

I spent more than two years riding a beautiful mare named Pacer in Hyrum, Utah. Debbie, Pacer's real owner always claimed her horse was more mine than hers. We formed a fabulous relationship, and although Pacer has been sold, I still visit Debbie often.

When I graduated from Utah State, I feared I would never ride again. Yet, I was delighted when I was introduced to four fabulous horses: Lucy, Lizzie, Paint and Angelina, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I spent hours on their backs, relaxing my brain from the stringent demands of academic philosophy, research and writing. For the year and a half I spent in that wondrous state, those four ponies became a lifeline.

Now, as an independent woman, living in downtown metropolis, I often wonder how a cowgirl ended up swapping lives with a city girl. As I spent a holiday weekend in my hometown I found myself longing to take a pony on my favorite trails. So I called up a mom of an old pony-club pal and within 30 minutes, Tikki and I were enjoying ourselves on the dusty trail.

Since my last ride, I have realized, God truly recognizes and rewards us for our small sacrifices. I never expected to meet and ride so many wonderful horses during the past seven years, but I have, and its made my life more pleasant and joyful.

So, maybe Adam did eat a nice lamb tenderloin after he sacrificed his best lamb; and although the superb taste of the meat left him drooling, the greater sweetness probably dawned on him as it did me: God is the source of all blessings, even those that follow heart-wrenching sacrifices.


The Leakes said...

Beautiful thoughts, thanks for sharing!

alainapaina said...

I remember that day. Very sad! We drank lots of guarana and ate abacate.

Miss you!

That Girl said...

I just love you.