Blinders and Staying on the Path

Occasionally I am in a country where horses and buggies or carts are still being used. In such cases, I notice the horses have blinders on. That is obviously to prevent them from being distracted and veering off the path the owner has chosen for them. It seems to work. The horses appear calm and relaxed both while walking and while waiting for further instructions.

I guess if all you can see is straight ahead of you, then that’s where you want to go. The horses have to trust their owners to keep them on a path with sure footing. Having blinders on lessens the possibility for the horse getting spooked. The blinders are most often used in public places where the horses could easily be scared by what is going around them.

112px-Horses_2Blinders prevent the horse from being confused. There may be several  choices – more than one path – in front of them. In order for the horse to know where the owner wants to go, he needs to see the path intended for him. Blinders are for the horse’s protection as well as direction of the owner.

Ordinarily, when you hear someone talk about a person having blinders on, it is meant in a negative sense. It usually means that someone does not recognize what is going on around him. He may refuse to accept what is happening. The origin of this idiom comes from the very thing I have observed in my travels – blinders on horses.

However, there is another way to think about blinders. If you are to intentionally stay focused on the path God has assigned for you, having blinders on can be a good thing.

Most of the horses wearing blinders have probably learned to trust their owners will lead them down a good road and know they will eventually settle in at night with nourishment and a place to sleep. As Christians, we may not need blinders, but the distractions of the world and our own desires can easily trip us up or lead us down the wrong path. We do need God to steer us in the right direction. We can totally trust Him to do so.

Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or to the left; remove your foot from evil (Proverbs 4:25-27).

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