|If you are interested in watching The Waltons re-runs, |
they air M-F on the Inspiration Network,
channel 364 on DirecTV.
I watched a re-run of an old Walton's episode recently. It was entitled "The Wild Mustang". Like most of their episodes, at least two stories are told in one episode. This one was no different. This portion of the episode was about a wild Mustang stallion roaming free on Walton's Mountain. The stallion was captured by a towns person and held in a pen for onlookers to see, at a price of course.
The Grandfather, being the naturalist that he is, is furious and demands that Sheriff Epps return the stallion to Walton's Mountain. The Sheriff reluctantly explains that he cannot do this because the stallion isn't owned by the Walton clan and tells the Grandfather that he must possess a Bill of Sale for the animal or the animal must bear a brand that indicates ownership.
The stallion inevitably escapes and returns to the mountain. After hearing this, the Grandfather formulates a plan to catch the stallion and brand him with the Walton brand. So, the Grandfather sets out to fashion a branding iron and puts his plan into action. The Grandfather, the Father, John Boy, Jason, Ben and Kurt (the son-in-law), head out for the mountain.
While the Grandfather and John Boy construct a holding pen and build a fire to heat the branding iron, the other men manage to capture the stallion. With some fuss, they cajole the stallion into the holding pen and within minutes, the deed is done. The stallion is now official Walton property and can never legally be removed from the mountain.
As the episode closes, the wild Mustang stallion gallops off into the forest running freely where he pleases. At last, the stallion has true freedom, free from the worry of capture and removal from his home against his will. His freedom comes from the fact that he now has a benefactor who 'owns' him and guarantees his freedom. Anyone who comes upon the stallion will know immediately of his benefactor because of the brand placed on his hind quarters.
I see the parallel of this stallion to my own life. I was free to roam in this world as I pleased. I felt safe within the home of my parents. Then, one day that sense of security, stability and freedom was shattered when my innocence was stolen by a man who refused to respect my boundaries and honor my place in my family.
For many years, I felt confined within the 'pen' of guilt and shame left by this man's sin. I felt as though my life had been stolen from me. The bars of an unforgiving heart held me captive and kept me from returning to my life of freedom. After a lifetime of living within those bars, I finally found forgiveness in my heart for that man. Once I did, it was as though God reminded me that He had placed His brand on my heart long before that individual entered my life. The deeds of another stole the joy of the freedom that experience brought to me.
When I was willing to forgive that person, my life was returned. The joy of that refound freedom is so much more dear to me. I now feel as that stallion must have felt, free to run among the beauty of the life God has given me. Free to enjoy the blessings He has placed in my life and secure in knowing that His brand is on my heart. I can choose never to allow anyone to steal my life from me again. I can choose never to be confined in the 'pens' of this world again.
Bad experiences may again come into my life, but I can choose to confidently claim my brand and walk freely from the bars those experiences may attempt to place on me. I am bought with a price; my benefactor made my place in His family secure. No one can take that from me and no experience can rob me of the joy of that relationship unless I allow it. I am free to run with the winds of the Holy Spirit buoying me as I go. I can ride on eagle's wings into each new phase of my life with joy unspeakable and full of glory!
Will gain new strength;