In Colonial America, muleskinners made their mules go where they wanted them to go by biting the animals’ ears until they bled. No amount of whipping that tough hide made any difference, but those sensitive ears in contact with human teeth worked wonders.
Every day I am more annoyed with my mule and more resolute to make it do what I say. My spirit–the real me–desires the holiness that only the grace and mercy of God through my Lord Jesus can give to me, but my mule, used to having his own way for millennia on end, refuses me… until I bite his ears and make them bleed.
Every day I try to find new ways to bite the ears of my mule, to make him understand that no amount of obstinacy is going to coerce me to give in to his desires. He is my pack animal, I am not his. I am lord of this trail, he is merely my temporary vehicle. He will burn with the rest of Earth on the last day. Until then, he is a gift from my God so that I can love, and in loving in all circumstances I will reach holiness.
I and my mule are walking through this exile bringing the love of Jesus. For now, it is my Lord’s will that I have him as my companion, and that being so, he will do what I say… and when I say it.