After an eight-month long very successful show career, my beloved 13” Beagle, Tira, is back home with me. It was difficult to have her gone that long, as to me she is much more than a show dog: She was an only child, raised in the house and was my constant companion when at home and in the house. Among other things she is my agility dog (my new-found favorite sport) and we had many good hours working together at that. Due to her extremely high energy level, she is also my special problem child (requires constant supervision) and yet bright spot in my life all rolled into one. She is adorable and very special to me.
As I was pondering what to write in my daily devotional, things about Tira were brought to my mind. These things have made me see a parallel to her outlook on life and what mine should be with my heavenly Father.
I have had her home for only two days and those two days provided warm enough weather to spend a couple of hours during each of them out in the yard putting up Christmas lights. I took Tira out with me and, as always, was amazed at her enthusiasm with life – period! She will run forever at top speed – just racing around the yard, stopping from time to time to pick up a stick (or any object she can find) and rushing up to me for maybe a quick, gentle rub, and then off again – again at top speed. You can almost feel the fun she is having. I believe I see her smiling while indulging in this special activity of hers.
Tira doesn’t have a care in life. She isn’t worried about when she will eat next, (well, maybe J)where she will sleep, or where she will go. In fact, one of the things that amazes me about this little dog is the way she makes every situation she finds herself in, fun, one way or another. I would like to use the old cliché’ that “when life throws lemons at her, she makes lemonade”, but it isn’t quite appropriate with her as I do not believe she ever thinks life does that to her. All she knows is to enjoy it to the fullest!
Being an animal she cannot, of course, reason I am the one taking care of her, but she instinctively knows I am the one who provides for her. If she has a need (food, drink, play, even time to be alone for a nap) she comes to me. She cannot realize that I am the one who sets boundaries that ensure her safety. She cannot reason that the leash at certain times is necessary to keep her from unimaginable harm. She cannot ‘understand’ why I say “no” when she leaves the yard for the driveway. One place is the same as another to her – she sees no potential danger in any of them. I, on the other hand, am aware of it all and must protect her from things she doesn’t see as harmful.
She has not a care in the world, but knows how to enjoy each day to the fullest and to enjoy my company whenever she wants to do so. For the most part, I am always available to her.
This made me think of how my heavenly Father wants me to live. He is always available to me and as close to me as I want Him to be. I can enjoy His companionship as much as I want to. He promises to care for me, and while I have to live in the world, I do not have to be afraid of it or become consumed with its cares. He wants me to enjoy my days – yes, carefree – knowing He is watching me and providing for me, just as I am Tira. Just like Tira, I require constant supervision from Him. He wants me to know He will set boundaries in my life, not to take pleasures away, but to keep me safe from all kinds of harm – much of which I do not see, realize, or understand. It is not mine to reason out: It is mine to trust, and by doing so, enjoy the love relationship He wants to share with me as well as the blessings He gives. I’m sure He takes pleasure watching me when I put aside the cares of the day to spend time with Him and simply enjoy our time together – just as I do with Tira.
Tira doesn’t have a choice in a lot of matters in her life – I make those choices for her to protect and provide for her in the best possible way. Unlike that relationship between me and my dog, God will not make choices for me (unless I ask Him to). He will not force me to stay away from potentially dangerous situations – he will not force me to stay close to Him. He gave me choices in life. I can do what I please. The choice is mine. I hope I am wise enough to learn from this little dog to trust my Master and live the carefree, exciting life that my heavenly Father has planned for me.