In horse training, there is a technique called Liberty Training. The entire process is based on trust. The horse and trainer keep eye contact and they learn each other’s ways. The horse moves when the trainer moves and goes where the trainer goes. The end result is that this powerful, four legged creature simply watches the trainer and, based on a trusted relationship forged over time, follows direction without bit, bridle or crop. Sheer intuitive understanding takes over and a beautiful and majestic dance between the two ensues. In freedom, the horse and trainer work and move as one.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye. Be not like horse and mule which have no understanding; whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, or else they will not stay near you. (Psalm 32: 9-10)
What does it look like to be guided by God’s eye; to simply see where he is looking and to instinctively go to that place? What freedom to not need a bit and bridle, but to trust enough to stay near, to enter into a dance of liberty with the creator of our soul. What beauty, what peace.
This dance comes only from times of solitude with our God, learning him, experiencing him, watching him move and keeping our eye fixed on him as we follow. It comes from understanding his deep, deep love and his ever-present grace. It comes from seeing his majesty and recognizing our own in his image. It comes from trusting his ways and finding our freedom within them.
This Liberty Dance between creator and created takes training in accepting the righteousness of this new creature we have become in Him. It takes a dying to self and living in Christ. It takes loving ourselves and loving our neighbor and loving Love above all else. It is entering into the dance of life with the Trinity himself.
Anything less is a bit and a bridle.
“The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity