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Just dropping by ... Blinders

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairyman Published on 24 August 2018

Life can yank off the blinders in our lives as we sit on the bottom floor of desperation, or we can turn to the Savior daily to keep moving upward as He gently removes the blinders from our eyes and fills our lives with His love.

I am just old enough to remember the workhorses they used in the woods to pull the logs to the logging trucks and to plow cornfields. That makes me feel ancient, but you must consider how things have changed since I was a child. We have gone from rotary telephone and party lines to smartphones. Technology has taken over the world.



So it is with the logging industry. Back in the day, they used huge Clydesdale-like horses to drag the logs to the trucks. These horses were magnificent beasts; they could pull thousands of pounds without hardly straining a muscle. They were completely obedient and seldom, if ever, got ruffled.

My mother tells me the story of how she caught my cousin and me walking behind one of these work plugs, as they were called. This giant horse obediently plodded down the fence followed by two little babes, who gave directions by flicking the long flowing tail. A little kick from one big hoof could have sent us both flying to the “Promised Land.” Needless to say, “We only did that once.”

It was years later I learned the horses needed blinders to keep them from getting scared of the things dragging behind them. Blinders are cuplike devices attached to the bridle that keep the horse from seeing anything except the road in front of him. He can only see a little patch of blue in the sky, the ground and a small bit of the horizon. Happily, he plods along, thinking all is well.

Sometimes people unwittingly wear blinders that keep them from progressing in life. They think they are happy, but they are missing so much of life because they only see what their blinders allow them to see.

Human blinders are invisible barriers we set up in our minds that keep us moving in circles around the same set of problems and weaknesses. We think we are progressing and making big changes until we suddenly find ourselves responding to situations in the way we have since childhood.


We realize we are not far from where we started. At this point, it is easy to say, “That’s just the way I am. I am never going to change.” The blinders are in place, and we have a nice pat excuse for staying just as we are. Of course, we don’t stay just as we are. It’s like going up the down escalator. The more we try to stay on one step, the more we go downhill.

The old saying, “The only thing in life that is constant is change,” is so true. Every second, every moment, is different from the last. We never travel the same road twice. Oh, we may walk on the same dirt, but something is different.

A leaf may have fallen, the sky may be overcast, or it might be sunny. An animal may cross our path, or a gust of wind might brush our face. Every walk is different. Change is inevitable. Gradually, we move toward the grave one step and one decision at a time.

The Lord intended for us to progress in this life. He wanted us to become perfect. He commanded, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” That is a lofty goal and one that seems beyond our reach.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the only person to attain it, but through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we can reach this goal through Him. He paid the price for our sins and made it possible for us to change. He took the blinders away and left us without excuse.

Does that mean we can put on blinders and mosey along the fence, slapped occasionally by the reins of the world to keep us on the path? Jesus describes such a man in the parable of the Prodigal Son:


And he said, A certain man had two sons:

And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

This young man thought his inheritance would make him perfect. Everything would go his way. Money would solve his problems. He didn’t think about what he would do when the money was gone. He put on his blinders and spent his time and money in “riotous living.” Riotous means uncontrolled and disorderly. In other words, he let come what came.

He threw away the rules and the teaching of his youth and leaped on the down escalator thinking he was going up. Eventually, like all escalators, he reached the bottom floor and was forced to get off.

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

The bottom floor for this young man was not a pleasant one. A famine came, and his money was gone. He needed more than he was able to obtain. He would have been glad if he could have filled his hunger with the husks of corn in the pig pen.

This realization must have wracked his soul with terrible torment. As with each of us, the bottom floor is a place for self-evaluation and regret. The blinders come off, and we can see things as they really are. We are terrified of things dragging behind us. We see our faults under a magnifying glass.

We feel desperate and afraid of the consequences. We cannot see any way out of our troubles. Often, we want to go home and start over. We turn to our roots and the Savior. In other words, we come to ourselves.

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

The young man was humbled to the dirt. He knew he had wasted his life and his inheritance. He did not expect his father to take him back as a son. He only hoped to be accepted as a servant, where he would have food to eat and a warm place to sleep. He knew his birthright was gone, and his father owed him nothing.

And he arose, and came to his father.

But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

The young man’s father saw him coming. It was as if he had waited daily, scanning the horizon for his son. He ran and embraced him with all the love a father has for a son.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

The young man choked out the words he had planned to say. “Father, I want to come home and be your servant. I have ruined my life, and I am not worthy to bear your name.”

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found …

The father accepted him back with feasting, singing and dancing. The young man was given a new life. His blinders were gone. He stepped on the bottom step of the escalator and started to climb. His father’s forgiveness made all the difference.

Life can yank off the blinders in our lives as we sit on the bottom floor of desperation, or we can turn to the Savior daily to keep moving upward as He gently removes the blinders from our eyes and fills our lives with His love.  end mark

Yevet Crandell Tenney is a Christian columnist who loves American values and traditions. She writes about faith, family and freedom.