There is a European horse trainer that I really enjoy. His name is Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling. He is able to calm and train horses using body language and what he calls “authentic communication.” I grew up around horses and it is fascinating to see him work. In my life experience, I’ve never seen anyone do this well with horses -and- be able to explain what he is doing.

In one of his videos (you can see them on youtube), he was conducting a clinic. An attendee noted that Hempfling doesn’t use tricks. The attendee implied that he had been taught many tricks but that Hempfling’s approach is legitimate in that he gets to the psychology of the horse and literally communicates with them. His methods then, are based on true understanding of how horses think and behave. He essentially behaves like them in order to communicate with them.

This would be in contrast to, say, using force to convince the horse to do what you want. To use force with horses gets one results. There is no question about that. However, force bypasses the horse’s personality. It ignores that aspect of the horse that feels and senses. Neither the horse’s mind or personality is consulted. To do so is to employ tricks.

The idea of playing tricks to make one’s way is…well…found in every discipline and walk of life. It is the essence of deception and shallow living. We could say it this way, the art of employing tricks is making things look different from what they really are. Furthermore, when exposed, the trick is seen to be artificial and fundamentally lacking in substance.

So why play tricks? We’re lazy. It is too hard to engage. It’s easier. It provides temporary cover, a little time. If we are honest, it is also a harder way to live. Compromise and frustration are the ready companions of the trickster.

We’re wired for more. Our souls yearn to be free, to be authentic.

Jesus walks in truth. He is the light. Walking with him is sufficient to playing. It takes time. It takes thought. It takes intentionality. We want to become persons who are real. That means we take up the difficult task of bringing truth into every aspect of our lives. That means we begin to yield to Christ. The trickster yields to his baser nature but when we walk in truth, we yield to our Lord. We also gain the pleasure of walking in truth and integrity.

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