We had been in Guam a week when our dog, Bernie, got here!
I don’t know who was more excited him or I! I will say though, he showed the most excitement. He jumped back and forth between Mike and I. He panted, smelled, licked and then did it all again and again (to be honest I did a lot of that same stuff except the licking).
We hadn’t seen Bernie for a whole week which is a long time on a doggie clock—mine too actually. Bernie had no idea what was going on or if he would ever see us again. How do you explain to a dog that he is going on a trip? I told him—you will get to go on a plane and we will come get you. But, how do you explain all these steps to a dog?
1. Yes, everything is gone out of our normal home and I know it is stressful
2. We are putting you in a box 1/4th the size of your prior box
3. We are taking you to visit relatives in Sacramento
4. You will spend the night with them
5. They will put you on a plane for your first time
6. You will fly ½ way across the United States away from us to Houston
7. Some stranger will get you off the plane
8. You will be transported to a kennel, another first time for you
9. You will spend the night with strangers and new smells instead of on our bed
10. Some stranger will take you to another plane
11. You will get to a new city called Los Angeles where another stranger will carry you in your box to another plane
12. You will fly for several more hours to Hawaii
13. Another stranger will take you to another kennel
14. You will spend the night with more strangers and more new smells
15. Another stranger will take you to another airplane
16. You will fly for several more hours to Guam
17. A stranger will pick you up and inspect you to make sure you are healthy
18. Another stranger will take you to another kennel with more new strange smells
19. Another stranger will feed and water you
20. You will stay there for several days
21. The newest stranger will come get you and hold you out to someone else
22. Hey wait—these are smells you will recognize and voices you will know and we will be waiting
Even though everything is still new and all the smells are different you will be with us and you will calm down. “Want to go bye-bye” still means you get to ride in a car.
The option of sleeping on a bed is once again part of your routine.
Sleeping in our suitcases is a new pattern for you—but for now no one cares while you get adjusted.
All of this reminds me of a saying Mike has, “Be the dog.” The first time he said that I laughed and though I know he would never insult me, I still had to ask what it meant.
He said, “Lock a person who loves you and a dog in a closet for 30 minutes. When you open the door one of them is living in the past and angry. The other one loves you unconditionally and is happy to see you."
Be the dog.
All of this makes me think of God. He may try to tell us what is ahead in our lives but what good does it do? We would want to know so many things:
“What new smells?”
“What is a plane?”
“Why are you making me do this?”
“Do I talk to them?”
“How long will it take?”
“What if I don’t like it?”
and on and on and on…
So, He tells us what He is doing with broad strokes.
For example: “I am bringing you a husband.”
“Wait a minute God; I don’t really want to be married. I have no idea what being married should look like. I have bad taste in men. How are you going to have me meet him?…..and on and on and on.”
I have to admit when He said that to me and then confirmed it 3 times in one weekend, I still asked a LOT of questions but the heavens became silent on the subject while He worked some things into my character over the next 2 years. For a time I wondered if He was bringing me a man I talking to on the phone a lot. Eventually I thought maybe I was attracted to him (I can totally relate to Sarah giving Abraham Hagar so she could "work out the word of the Lord in her life"). I hoped he was the one and then I as I got to know him I hoped he was not. In my heart I knew he wasn’t for me.
I stopped asking and wondering and continued with my daily life. Then, when I was no longer thinking about it or expecting anything there he was. No doubts at all. I knew it was him. Just like when we picked up Bernie from the kennel in Guam and he knew it was us. I knew it was Mike when I first talked to him.
We can let delays trick us into thinking they are no’s. We can get angry at God. We can pout and be in a bad mood because our answers are taking too long. We can try to do it ourselves. We can side with the world against God (check your words). We can go back to our old ways. We can live in the past and refuse to move forward. We can do a lot of things that are not in our best interest. Don’t.
He spoke. He is able. He will.
Be the dog—just adore the creator. He knows your beginning from your end. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Nothing can separate you from His love for you. Relaxing and living in the moment will give you peace and a lot more understanding of where you are going. It is not wrong to plan. It is not wrong to look at the past. But when you park in either one you miss the present and after all isn’t that all we really have?
How many people do you know that are stuck in the past or the future and NOT living where Christ wants them? Are you praying for them? Are you wrestling a release of the past for them?
How many people do you see who are so busy planning they are missing today? Are you praying them into God’s plan for them?
Not to burst your bubble but we are a pretty self-centered lot so if you have seen it and recognized it have you asked God to show you a battle plan for them? You would not even pay attention without the spirit. Selah
Did I describe you? Do you need prayer to get out of dwelling in the past? Are you living in the future and dying in today? If so let me know so I can pray for you.