“Come on, crazy dog.”
Jedi and I were taking a walk one beautiful October morning, and he was snuffling around the bushes and trees for the scent of squirrel. As a gangly puppy he discovered the tree-hugging, zippy-tailed rodent and life’s never been the same. To describe him as obsessed would be a vast understatement.
It makes for a good bicep workout when one of the little gray geniuses runs out in front of us and zips across the sidewalk, sometimes even stopping and staring in frozen fright at the brown and white spotted canine salivating a few yards away.
That was a rough morning. (I’ll be scheduling rotator cuff surgery shortly.)
This particular day we had a bigger-than-squirrel surprise. As we trotted along the sidewalk beside the main road in our neighborhood Jedi abruptly stood still and pointed, his muzzle aimed at a large clump of bushes. Jedi has just enough Pointer in him to come to point, but not enough to realize he’s supposed to point with his front paw rather than his back.
We love him anyway.
His backward pointing didn’t take away from the obvious fact that something – alive, breathing, probably a bit nutty – was hiding in the bushes.
I sighed. “Go check it out.” In he went, head first, sniffing, snuffling, snorting. Then he circled back around and whined, short bursts of agitated noise that spoke volumes about what he’d discovered in the bushes.
Not nutty, but kitty. Meow.
Often as we’re walking he comes across a cat napping or hiding in the five-foot high bushes along the sidewalk. He’s fine with cats, though he tends to over step his doggy boundaries with too much nose and tail sniffing.
“Come on.” Tug-o-war. Jedi stubbornly stuck his head back in the bushes, dancing around on his mile-high legs and whining.
“The kitty’s going to scratch you.”
Two seconds later something much larger than a cat leapt through the bushes.
80 plus pounds of chocolate Labrador burst through the thick green hedge, its growl-bark shocking me and Jedi and sending us both skittering backward quickly. Because Jedi was attacked a few times by loose dogs when he was a puppy, adrenaline pumped through my body at an alarming rate until I realized the beast in the bushes was a chubby, elderly Lab who simply didn’t appreciate Jedi’s curious whining.
We walked away, both of us turning around repeatedly to watch the Lab as he sniffed around where we’d been standing, and I thought of what was happening in my life.
“In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28
Right now God has me on a pathway toward something I don’t understand. It’s an unknown path that isn’t well-lit and doesn’t really make sense, but after much prayer and confirmation from His word I’ve settled onto the path, relying on Him each and every day. I’m learning to let go of my plans and my preferred pathway in order to walk in faith and align my will with His.
Sometimes I stop and check out the bushes, wondering if something better is hiding over there or if, just maybe, God wants me to go that (MY) way. Yet He’s marked the path clearly, just as He’s marked the way of salvation clearly – through His Son.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
I remind myself that at Calvary, God gave us His very Best. He gave us Jesus, and His grace fills me so full that I long to give Him only my best, too. But I have to fill up on His word and choose faith before stepping out on the unknown path that lays ahead – ignoring the distractions of the worldly bushes along the way.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9