I hear the soft creak of leather. I feel the crisp fall breeze on my face and neck. Bright sunny patches filled with long autumn shadows cover the golden hills and oak trees surrounding the gathering. Now and then the soft snort of a horse emits a little puff of steam in the dew of early morning, as everyone called, quietly awaits his or her assignment.
Their warm-blooded counterparts amuse the riders of the steel horses, but the hearts of all the riders are the same. They are the hearts of warriors.
In ages gone by, other warriors dawned their leathers, sometimes topped in mail, or armor or Kevlar. The hearts gathered here don saddles and tack, leather motorcycle jackets of all variety, leather pants and gloves and boots. Each one tailored to the rider’s frame.
In the heart of all these riders, each one knows themselves as warrior. The wind in their faces emboldens them as they ride their steed of choice. It whispers joyfully, “Freedom!”
They are exhilarated and energized. Each one knows to their core that they were made for adventure, made to protect and defend, made to stand when everyone else flees. Each one, though not often expressed in words, feels the solid footing of the warrior within. It is intrinsic to their kind.
The weight and drape of their leather garments feels a part of their person. An expression of their readiness at all times to dress for battle. The smell of the fashioned hide is earthy and speaks of adventures gone by. The once hard edges at the neck and wrist that have grown supple and custom fitted with much wear are now a second skin to them.
For every rider, the embrace of the saddle and their perspective from such seat reminds them that they are made for this ride. The immediate, response of horse or machine, responding almost before bidden, makes stopping regretful. Covering ground is as much a delight to the rider as claiming ground is to the warrior within.
The camaraderie of the gathering is unspoken but thick in the air. Lighthearted appreciation of each other’s differences enhances the solemnity of the esprit de corps that surges in the air. This is a gathering of like-hearted warriors content to ride alone, but powerful when stirred to their true calling and drawn together by a leader who fashioned their hearts and equipped their souls for a moment such as this.
The imagery above was given to me in just a brief moment with the Lord. These people, the cowboys and bikers, really are my tribe. I think in showing me this image, the Lord was showing me more specifically why. It is because the common thread among us is that we are warriors. Within ourselves we are WARRIORS!
WE ARE WARRIORS!
God has put his gifts and callings in everyone ever born. The calling of Warrior is powerful and manifests itself in many temporal ways. Beginning in sports, martial arts and all forms of adventure that have as a root, martial skills and mindsets; like horseback and motorcycle riding (tied to horse-back combat), hunting, outdoor survival skills. Other tribes of warriors do battle in courtrooms and boardrooms, operating tables and classrooms. I can comfortably move among this tribe and can go into battle by their sides, but the call of open country speaks my name. All these warriors are responding to a call within their hearts to overcome, to take ground, to be victorious!
For the gifts and calling of God are given without repentance. (Romans 11:29) That means that we have this calling before we ever receive Christ as our savior, but it is not until we find the true rest for our calling that we understand how to do battle appropriately. “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”(Ephesians 6:12) Like every warrior of every age, we grow stronger, wiser, and more effective with training, experience and confidence.
When alerted to the scent of battle, our warrior nature arises in expectation! When you read the scene of the gathering above, did some part of you wish to be there? Did you feel the strength, the battle stance, the eagerness to move into the wind? Then come. Jesus is awakening the warrior within you! He has great plans for you and your tribe.