Seriously, someday i’m going to write a book called “Everything I know about God I learned from my dogs and digging in the dirt”… sometimes I do think its ridiculous how many spiritual insights I get from those oh so simple things in my life… and I am awed by a merciful God who meets me right where I’m at, in those simple things in my every day life.
Anyway, this week’s inspiration came a few nights ago. It was a stressful week at work (which I’m not so good at), a cold week in Michigan- so the dogs wouldn’t stay out for more than a few minutes at a time, meaning they were antsy and fighting in the living room (which I do not allow), plus I had been busy several nights in a row, so they were starved for some attention. I knew I needed a work out in order to work off some stress and thereby sleep that night. I arrived home at 10 pm and decided it was time, cold or not, to go for a walk with my antsy BOC. Naturally, the hardest part is between me asking them “Wanna go for a walk” and actually getting out the door because they are soooo excited its almost impossible to sit still long enough to get a leash and choke collar on. Anyway, after an excited and unproductive few minutes, I managed to get collars and leashes in place, scarf, mittens and a hat on myself, and we headed out the door amid wagging tails and grinning pooches.
It was a clear night and I enjoyed seeing all the stars in their glory – they feel so close and yet so far away. Breathtaking. We walked around the block and to the road behind my house. It was a very dark and very still night, with few streetlights along our route and no traffic on that bypass road. As we passed the football field (directly behind my back yard) I decided to let the dogs run for a bit- hoping they wouldn’t go too far or run away. They raced back and forth across the football field, zooming in the darkness. I couldn’t really see them at all, until they zoomed by me (something about black dogs in pitch darkness doesn’t really work).
Now I’m certainly aware that nearly nothing is as exciting for the dogs as freedom and space to run- particularly in places they usually have to be leashed. An open football field is much more exciting than my fenced backyard, duh. I’m also aware that although we do work at it, my pooches are not impecably trained or always obedient. Nonetheless, I wanted to test the system and see if they’d come when called, even in the excitement of zooming across said football field. So, I knelt on the cold ground (trying to get a glimpse of their locations in the light by the distant parking lot light). “Maggie, Suzie… Come” (very excitedly). Out of nowhere, Suzie comes racing to me, full speed, and hurls herself into my arms, licking my cold face, ecstatic!! Maggie, on the other hand, was busy sniffing a culvert. I knew she had heard me, but clearly she had more important things to do. I called her again, she stopped sniffing and started walking my direction, stopping several times to sniff the ground, before coming all the way to me. Meanwhile I didn’t give up, I continued to call her name and encourage her to come. Several times in the next 15 minutes I repeated the exercise, and each time, Suzie would come racing to me the minute I called, while Maggie would continue what she was doing until she was good and ready, and then she’d come at her own pace.
And suddenly it hit me… how often do I hear God calling my name and instead of running to Him as fast as I can, I finish what I’m doing, explain that I can handle this, “be with you in a minute Lord” and then go to Him once I’ve finished what I consider to be important?? Hmmm. Jesus, help me be more like Suzie* and run to you at the sound of your voice, ecstatic to be Yours, to be called by name, to be invited into your arms.
*and by praying to be more like Suzie, i mean just in those things- not in the licking my butt, peeing when I’m nervous, or licking stranger’s faces things. 😀