November 16

Written by Bill Grandi on November 16th, 2023

I began reading an old book yesterday. It was first published in 1983; the second edition in 2009; and a third edition-a commemorative one-in 2019. The book is entitled Run With the Horses by the late Eugene Peterson. He found his title from Jeremiah 12:5. Peterson’s own Message Paraphrase puts it this way: “So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with me, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when trouble break loose like the Jordan in flood?” The NLT translates it: “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?

The subtitle for the book is “The Quest for Life at Its Best.” Trust me when I say it is not another Joel Osteen knock-off. You won’t read more “your-best-life-now” drivel.  On the contrary. Here is what you will get a sample of:

Vitezlav Gardovsky, the Czech philosopher and martyr who died in 1978, took Jeremiah as his “image of man” in his campaign against a secret society that carefully planned every detail of material existence but eliminated mystery and miracle, and squeezed all freedom from life.  The terrible threat against life is ‘that we might die earlier than we really do die, before death has become a natural necessity. The real horror lies in such a premature death, a death after which we go on living for many years.’ (pp.18-19)

Sort of like living with a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient. They may go on living for many years after their diagnosis, and yet not really living.

Jeremiah was ready to abandon his unique calling because of opposition and self-pity, but that moment God nailed him with the words of Jeremiah 12:5. It is like he is saying, “Life is difficult, Jeremiah. Are you going to quit already? Are you going to quit at the first opposition?” We would say, “Are you going to run home to mommy, Jeremiah, are you going to run with the horses?”

I know what I want to do. I want to “run with the horses.” Wild. Free. With purpose. Engaging and enjoying life. What about you? Are you going to quit, give up, throw in the towel, be put out to pasture (ahem), or…run with with horses?

I seldom do this but a song from years ago came to mind. If you have a chance check out Dark Horse by John Fischer. Sorry I can’t find any lyric video but the lyrics are plain. Hint: its from the 1970s. And yes, I was listening to CCM way back in those dark ages. 🙂


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. May God grant me the energy to do His work each and every day, and not get burned out or frustrated. I want to go the distance!
    Blessings, Bill!

  2. Ryan S. says:

    This is one of those ideas that in many ways is easier to say than do… Persevering through adversity, challenges, and roadblocks can be draining… Physically, mentally, spiritually. I need to remember that I CAN NOT DO THIS in my own strength and I need to rely on the strength and power of God to push through.
    The great news is that IF I rely on God… then I will be able to race against the horses.

    I can honestly say that I have never heard the song before, perhaps just a skosh before my time 🙂

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You were doing okay with your comment until your comment about the song. Do you see my tongue sticking out? 🙂 But you are right: it is easier said than done.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Reading this brought back a lot of memories from when my Mom would quote this verse to me when I was down about something or going through a particularly hard trial. She would quote this one and also, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Mom could always help me pull myself up by the bootstraps to keep pressing on. I’m so glad you shared this verse!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      We all need someone like your mom to help us when we need that boost Cheryl. And we always need to remember that our strength comes from the Lord and not ourselves.