Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Little Dog Power

Sometimes the big dogs out number the little dogs at the kennel.  But not recently.  This was the nicest and happiest little group I've had for a while.
It's easy to feel intimidated when you're among the big dogs.  They loom large and bark loudly.  One might feel lost in the shuffle.

However, I know where these little guys are, even if they feel lost.  When they are among friends, they have more confidence and feel more assured of their place in the world.

When we look at the news in the world, we may be tempted to feel despair, wondering how our little lives matter in this great big world.  If we are fortunate, we find some friends that are willing to huddle with us, bearing the storm together. 

Most importantly, we remember that God knows where we are, even if we're running among the big dogs.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Growing Into Your Life

It's fun to watch puppies, especially the large breeds.  Their paws are huge and the pups often trip right over them.  Often when they are at the kennel for more than a few days, I will go out in the morning and notice they are bigger.  When the owner returns, they notice immediately that their little darling is growing up.
When we view our lives as gifts from God, with the burdens and blessings that includes, we can walk calmly at the pace God wants.  But do we?  I mean, don't WE want to dash forward, tripping over ourselves with our own plans?  Don't we want to use our OWN gifts the way WE want to?

Is it possible that life is not .....gasp....about US?

Is it possible that the tough circumstances and burdens we face may be for the benefit of others, not ourselves?  Is God glorified according to HIS purposes even when we suffer greatly?  Can we honestly say "yes" to that?

If you are out walking your dog and a car comes hurling at you, I bet you would rather take the hit over your dog.  And if you have children, you would rather suffer FOR your child rather than your child experiencing pain.  This is what Jesus did for us.  How can we not be grateful?  How can we not...someday...be able to say you'd do the same for someone else?  Someone maybe you haven't met.  Maybe even someone you don't like - even an enemy.

But how can we do it?  Even if we wanted to, wouldn't we be seen as crazy to others?  Experience suffering for no reason or endure our personal hardship for the sake of someone else's walk with God?  Only through God's grace and strength can we do this.  Only God can infuse our souls with His love to care enough to endure.  Only through God's strength can we finish the walk he's given us.  And we don't get answer to "why" each time either.

That's God's radical plan right there.  Those are some big paws to grow into.  But you can do it, one step at a time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Step on It

We tend to rush through our days, particularly those tasks that are mundane and we know how to do with little thought.

The last couple of weeks at the kennel has been insanely busy.  I was reminded to slow down.

By a giant paw on my foot:
This is Maggie (hi Maggie).  She's been here before and is a pretty easy dog, requiring little care.  It would be easy to breeze by her with a quick freshening of the water and a treat.

What Maggie really wants is love.  She is the Velcro type of dog that always has to have some part of her touching you, either by leaning on your legs so you can't move or stepping on your foot.

It is a reminder I needed.  Part of the fun of this job is petting the dogs and seeing the wag of their tails.  In fact, sometimes that is the ONLY fun there is!

It's made me wonder how much other important moments I miss by not slowing down and enjoying the quiet easy moments.  And how can I hear God's still voice if I'm making a racket?

What about you?  What lessons have you learned by keeping a slower pace?