It was a lovely early summer morning when we discovered a brand-new foal in our pasture, the picture of spindle-legged perfection. We moved the new baby and her mother into a corral, away from the boisterous curiosity of the other horses to give them a chance to bond and recover from the delivery. All seemed well until a few days after the birth when we noticed the new mother pawing at the ground and eating dirt. This is a potentially dangerous behavior that can lead to a serious stomach problem called Sand Colic which can be deadly. We were very concerned about the mare’s new habit. Within a week of the foal’s birth we received a visit from a friend and neighbor, an older experienced horseman named Millard. While standing at the corral, admiring the new foal the mare began pawing at the ground giving us the opportunity to ask Millard about her odd behavior. His response was immediate, “She’s craving salt,” he explained. The new mother had depleted her normal salt levels through the stress and strain of the birth and in separating her from the herd we had unwittingly separated her from the salt block we kept in the pasture. Once we supplied the mare with her own mineral block, she stopped eating dirt and instead licked the block until her need was met, illustrating a valuable lesson to me.
Blaise Pascal, the famous seventeenth century French mathematician, physicist and Christian philosopher said, “there is a god-shaped hole in every person that cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, made known through Jesus.” All of humankind has a natural yearning for a relationship with God. If that yearning is not satisfied naturally through Christ, people will seek to satisfy the void in their hearts and lives in other ways and with other “things”. Let’s face it, this world offers a myriad of different distractions. While we are all designed with natural needs for work, entertainment, and relationship, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to seek satisfaction of those holy needs. Just as the mare sought dirt to satisfy her need in the absence of what she really needed, people can seek all manner of unhealthy ways to try and fill their void.
In I Peter 3:15 we are instructed, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have,”. We have a sacred responsibility to share with others that all true satisfaction begins with a relationship with Christ and to disciple those who have taken that first step. We should be ready always to provide answers and guidance to the people God places in our lives.
DeVonna R. Allison