Last Sunday afternoon I went for a walk on the Mineral Wells Trailway. A group on horseback caught up to me and we exchanged pleasantries discussing whether I was walking fast or they were walking slow. The last woman in the group turned around after she passed me and offered me a ride. I politely declined. I spent the rest of my walk wondering if she was flirting or just being friendly.
I shared the story on Facebook. One person commented, “Guess you’ll never know now. Maybe next time you might seize the moment. Its not everyday a princess on a horse, offers a commoner a ride.” When another friend asked if she was cute, I offered that another of my concerns would have been trying to get on the horse. On Monday morning, I shared with a couple of coworkers.
The common theme: I should have gotten on the horse. If I were a more confident person, I would have taken here up on her offer. I wrestled with whether “I had missed my chance.” I believe that God is bigger than my lack of self-confidence. So not long after sharing my story, I decided I was going back this week. But the doubt ran through my head all week. It felt ridiculous. It felt like an alternate version of “How I Met Your Mother.”
This afternoon, I headed back out to the trail. I spent the weekend wondering what I was thinking. What are the odds that she’ll be there again? What would I say to her? About 10 minutes in I came upon a couple on horseback but it wasn’t her. I started running again and not long after I came across a group galloping toward me. One of the women looked familiar but I wasn’t sure. I kept running but I starting wondering if that was the woman I met last week. I hesitated but I eventually turned around. I reasoned I came out to run into her and I couldn’t pass up the chance.
After a bit I caught up with them. The woman I wanted to talk to was off her horse. She got back on but the horse was not cooperative. He sidestepped and pushed her into the trees. I started walking because I didn’t want to spook her horse.
I came along side her and asked if she had been out last week. She said she’d been out with a group. I then asked her if she’d offered me a ride. I told her I was asking because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy. She said she probably had. Before I could get up my courage to ask her out or something so bold, we caught up with her friends. During the whole exchange, her horse was still acting up.
So I ran. Physically and metaphorically. I decided I would wait for them to get back and then I would talk to her again. I realized I hadn’t introduced myself, so figured I would start there.
I finished my run and cooled-down. I needed to kill time and look nonchalant, so I ran sprints in the parking lot. I felt foolish. I couldn’t believe I was sitting around waiting on this woman. I thought of writing a note on a business card and sticking it under their windshield wiper, but that felt like a copout.
Then one of her friends rode up. I waited. The other friend rode out. I waited. What was I doing? Then she rode out. I screwed my courage to the sticking plate and started walking her direction. I made like I was walking to the restroom. I was playing it cool. As I got closer, her horse started sidestepping and spinning again. I made a comment that I thought maybe he had settled down.
I made a judgment call. She was fighting an uncooperative horse. I wasn’t going to start hitting on her. I used the restroom and came back out and she was still trying to get her horse to listen. I got back to my truck and tried to figure out what I was going to do next. Before I could decide, she made it to the trailer. At this point, I didn’t have the courage to walk up to her with her friends around and ask her out.
I thought about all this on the ride home. All week, my rational and logical mind thought this was a stupid idea. But something compelled me to go back out. I don’t think this was so much about asking out a woman. It was about hope and faith. There are so many things that don’t line up with logic and I talk myself out of them. I wanted to believe something so crazy could happen. The Bible is full of stories where God takes things that don’t make sense to the wise. He writes stories that can only be attributed to Him.
So this whole thing has increased my faith. It reminds me of God’s sovereignty and if these events turn into “How I Met Your Mother” then I will run into this woman again.