Hobbies & hobby horses


I recently sold this to an antique dealer, figuring it was something we didn’t want to take up space in our truck as we move.

This antique rocking horse got me thinking about the expression “ride a hobby horse” — attributed in certain contexts to preachers or writers or editors who would “ride” a different kind of horse — a pet cause.  Recent travels have led me to a place or two that manifested such “hobby horses.”  In one case, the horse has long since ridden off into a sunset to Mission Valley.  By that, I mean the horse has become a full-blown mission or raison d’etre — making it more of a gargantuan centipede than a four-legged horse for hobbyist “riding.”

As we acquire, pasture, and board our hobby horses, we should take care that they don’t become too large in our lives.  These causes can begin to obscure more central matters.

I have some “causes.”  Several of these might be called “pet causes” or “hobby horses” that I ride.  They include, but are not limited to, championing

  • fewer organizational layers (fewer VPs and directors, smaller government, etc.) everywhere
  • music notation in churches
  • chamber music in musician training, and in concert planning
  • solid biblical basis for everything Christian
  • content over style in worship material
  • simple, organic Christianity
  • buying used cars instead of new ones
  • efficiency and practicality
  • teaching children nonviolence
  • good punctuation

Some of the above are larger (and, I admit, too large) in my schema.  What are some of your pet causes/hobby horses, and how much do you ride them?


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