My dogs like steak. I think. They crunch and chew their dog food, but swallow steak bites in one big gulp. They don’t even taste it. They swallow it whole, then they look at me like “What just happened? Did I eat that already? Is there more?” Meanwhile, I’m standing there shaking my head and wondering why I bothered to bless them with a bite of my delicious, expensive steak.
Now I’m wondering, do I live the blessed days God gives me that same way?
Oh great God, please watch over me as I walk today’s path. I humbly ask that you take control of everything I encounter. If it be trials, hardships, or disappointments, use them to make me better; to make me more like You. If it be blessings, then help me to recognize them and rejoice in them with a grateful heart. Whichever comes my way or crosses my path, may I lay down in peace tonight, and be thankful.
Living in a small house with two big dogs can be challenging. At 123 and 152 pounds, Joy and Buster Brown (aka “Buzzard”) are not easily ignored. You can’t lock them in a little dog carrier. You can’t really hold them in your lap, even if they want you to. It’s difficult to put anything out of their reach. And I’m still doubting the wisdom in teaching Joy to open the refrigerator. Life with two big dogs is just crazy sometimes. But the other day, I thought of something even crazier. Why don’t people keep 150 pound cats in their house?
Imagine what it would be like to live with two Mountain
Lions in your house. They are in the
same weight class as our dogs. They have
teeth that could chew you to bits, and claws that could rip you to shreds. They have more than enough strength and
weight to pounce on you, knock you to the floor, and literally bite your neck
off. But strangely, none of this is the
reason people don’t live with 150 pound cats.
Buster Brown has teeth that could chew me to bits. He has claws that could rip my flesh. He can and has knocked me down on occasion
when we run and play. My arm fits inside
his powerful jaw. I know because I’ve
had it there. Just this morning, he had
my wrist in his mouth. One crunch and I
would be without a hand. Either Buster
Brown or Joy could probably kill me if they wanted to. Both together certainly could. So why do people live with big dogs but not
big cats? It’s not the size, teeth, and
claws that count. It’s something
else. It really comes down to one
I don’t trust Buster with my dinner on the table. I don’t trust Joy with the refrigerator open. I don’t trust either of them with fried chicken scraps in the garbage. But when we are playing and tussling around the house, when Joy grabs my arm in her big jaw to try to pull me outside to play, when I go to sleep at night and leave the bedroom door open for them to come in at any time, I’m trusting them with my life.
I know my dogs aren’t perfect. But I also know they respect me as
master. They know I am lord of the house. They trust me to lead the small pack that is
our family. In their own way, and in at least
some sense of the word, they love me.
And I love them. And because I
can trust them to love and respect me, they enjoy the blessings of my love, and
In the springtime, I become more aware of my physical state. I get outside more. I work in the yard, walk, ride the bike more. The activity highlights my physical shortcomings. I used to be in better shape. As I age, things are wearing out. My body (and mind) just doesn’t work as well as it once did. But I’ll have no pity party in the springtime. I can still see the trees pop to life. I can see and smell the flowers. My legs can sustain me for a walk in the woods. I can still hear the birds singing their song. I am not as good as I used to be, but I am so much better than I could be. In the springtime, I realize anew the wonders of God’s creation, and how truly blessed I am to live, experience, and be a part of it.