Pay attention to lessons from a donkey

Pay attention to lessons from a donkey

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One can learn a lot from a donkey.

My experiences with donkeys are limited. I once wanted to introduce my daughters to a neighbor donkey, so I seated their small bodies in the double stroller and set off down a biking trail. I smiled along the walk anticipating their excitement over seeing a donkey up close in its natural habitat—a farm pasture.

We tromped down through the long grass and came up to the fence. My eldest greeted the equine with a fist full of grass, reaching out to pat the animal. My youngest studied the critter from the safety of my arms.

As I was educating the girls about all I knew about donkeys—not much—the donkey screeched, “HEE!” That’s all. I laughed and said how odd that was since donkeys were supposed to say, “hee haw”. The girls didn’t mind as they admired the creature so like a horse, yet not a horse. Meanwhile the donkey was sucking in its breath in such a fashion that we were unaware of the great bellowing, “HAW” that was about to blast us. At close range, it was so startling that I swear my heart must have faltered before the instinct to flee kicked in.

We scrambled back to the path and waited for a complete “hee haw” from the safety of the trail, but none ever came. We continued on our walk, puzzling about the donkey.


A stray donkey changes a life

So recently when a friend gifted me a copy of Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge, I wondered what I might learn. Not far into the book, I laughed at this donkey that had materialized in Ridge’s driveway one night and planted himself in a firm place in her home and heart. But soon I needed a box of tissues. Back and forth I went as the pages turned, and I became infatuated with a donkey.

Flash turned out to be a God-sent blessing to the Ridges. Rachel Anne Ridge shares eleven lessons that Flash taught her. Her observations struck a relatable chord in my heart.

Have you ever questioned your value and wondered who sees you or if what you do matters? You’ll discover the importance of your name.

Have you wrestled with what Ridge called the “significance factor” or wanting to belong? Perhaps you are longing for a refuge that is right in front of you like Flash did during an arctic blast.

Have you ever let a fear keep you from moving forward? Well, Flash has a lesson about being the unique creation God created you to be. “There’s a greatness inside you, looking for a chance to burst into life and kick up some dust.”

Do you wonder what your purpose is? Flash says to find your passion!


More faith lessons from a donkey

I was encouraged when she described faith as a lifestyle and noted that God shows up each day when we are “fully present in whatever situations we find ourselves”. Sometimes when a person falls into the pits of wondering if we’re living the life we’re supposed to be living, discouragement sets in. We see the predictable routine and feel stuck. We fear we’ve missed it—whatever it is. Ridge encourages us to keep the faith. “It all happens in such incremental moments, as you work out your life into some kind of reflection of Him in your everyday world. You’re making trails, even when you don’t know quite where you are heading.”

We need to hear that. Keep the faith.

Ridge encourages us to be vulnerable, to be authentic, to be grateful, and to serve others. I love that she says we are defined by what we give, not be what we have.

The chapters about life’s changes and missing the last time moments struck close to my heart. God works in mysterious ways. Maybe we miss opportunities because we see them as interruptions or annoyances.

I hope you’ll find a copy to read and discover the nuggets of wisdom tucked in its pages. May each of us be less distracted and more focused on the present! Life is short. We miss so much by being preoccupied.

We don’t need to go searching for our own donkey to teach us lessons. Ridge has captured some profound ones, wrapped beautifully in her book.


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8 Replies to “Pay attention to lessons from a donkey”

  1. I LOVE THIS REVIEW Michelle. I have to send it on to my friend(s) who gifted me with this book. It will truly bless them. I loved reading about the differences between donkeys and horses, although all in the equine family. And how the author sought and brought God’s perspective into every experience.

    1. I love how she sought and brought God’s perspective into every experience too! She has such wonderful insight! Thank you also for sharing this blog. I hope your friends enjoy it. Thanks for introducing me to this book and author!

  2. I really enjoyed your story about you and your children meeting the donkey. That was a fun read. And a number of comments spoke to me as I read your book review. Comments like: “what you do matters”, and “I fear I’ve missed it”, and “We miss so much by being preoccupied.” I will need to think about those a little more. Thanks for a good read.

    1. This book really spoke to me as I head into a huge transition in my life. It’s so easy to get confused with what people say we ought to do and to reconcile it with the truth of what God wants us to do. We all want to matter. The crazy thing is is that we DO matter to God just for being who He created us to be. Maybe we make it so much harder than it ought to be. He said His burden is light. “Come to me,” he said, “all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) We are all learning, Donna, so may you be comforted in that. Thanks for your faithful support.

      1. Thanks for your positive outlook, Michelle. I needed that. I have so many things to be thankful for, and I need to focus on those a little more. Thanks for the day-brightener.

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