Read: Esther 6:1-11

Then the king said to Haman, “Quickly, take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to the Jew Mordecai who sits at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” So Haman took the robes and the horse and robed Mordecai and led him riding through the open square of the city, proclaiming, “Thus shall it be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor” (Esther 6:10-11, NRSV).

I won’t lie. There are certain perks to being the king’s horse. Before you envy me, however, please take into account the character of the king. My particular king—Ahasuerus—is tedious on a good day. The weight of his ego alone is enough to drive me to my knees.

I pride myself on having a certain amount of “horse sense.” (Sorry—couldn’t resist.) I knew from the moment I met him that he was a piece of work. Don’t even get me started on the 180-day drinking bash he held for the entire Persian army. I ask you. Who was minding the empire during that little frat party? You see what I mean. Not to put too fine a point on it, he’s not the brightest light in the harbor.

I suppose I should watch what I say. He’s been known to make people disappear for a lot less. I rather liked Queen Vashti. She always had an apple or a carrot for me. But I haven’t seen her since the drinking party. So, it just goes to show that no one is safe around His Royal Pomposity.

Imagine my surprise, then, when he actually made a couple of wise decisions. First, he chose Esther as replacement queen. (Sorry, Vashti—I hope you don’t think me disloyal.) But then the other day he made a decision that practically shocked my horseshoes off. Granted, I think he sort of blundered into it, but I’ll take it in any case. Here’s what happened.

There I was, munching premium hay in the royal stables, when the king’s right-hand man, Haman, storms in and starts to saddle me up. This made me very nervous. Haman is not a nice person. His ego eclipses even that of Ahasuerus. (The word “megalomaniac” comes to mind.) But anyway, Haman starts slamming on my royal regalia, swearing a blue streak.

My first thought was, “It’s a coup!” After all, nobody but the king is allowed to ride the royal steed. But just when I thought Haman was going to mount up, he leads me into the courtyard. There, wearing the king’s own robes is Esther’s cousin, Mordecai. (To be honest, he looked a little embarrassed by all the attention.) Then Haman knelt down (still swearing under his breath), and Mordecai mounted from Haman’s own back.

Well, I couldn’t help myself. I burst out laughing—but quickly covered it by pretending it was a neigh. Then Haman led me and Mordecai through the square of the city, proclaiming, “Thus shall it be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor.”

It. Was. Sweet.

Well, thanks for listening to my story. I’m not sure what the moral is, but maybe it’s something along the lines of: “How are the mighty megalomaniacs fallen.” It’s a cheering thought since those types never seem to go out of style.

Ponder: What can the average person do when unchecked egos get into power? What are the risks of doing nothing? What are the risks of doing too much?

Pray: From power-hungry megalomaniacs, good Lord, deliver us.