The Beast in the Bushes

 “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





6 thoughts on “The Beast in the Bushes

  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing. As I was reading it I thought about a time my dog made a discovery on a trail as well. Wasn’t a cat or a lab…a skunk. Had a bit of a different ending! God Bless!

    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I can’t imagine coming across a skunk. That would be a stinky encounter! I don’t think we have them in the Tampa area, thankfully. 🙂 But during my childhood in rural Conn., our Golden Retriever did have a tussle with a skunk in our garage, and I still remember mom and dad giving her tomatoe juice baths afterward! Eeeek. 😉

      I hope you have a blessed day!


  2. Kerry, Reading Sanctified Together led me to your blog. I am also a contributing writer and am thoroughly enjoying your incredible writings!!!!! I celebrate you! Teresa

    • Hi Teresa,

      Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. Your comment blessed me so much today! November’s issue of Sanctified Together is so good; I’m looking forward to checking out your blog, too. 🙂

      God Bless,

  3. What a great message, Kerry! It’s a great reminder to keep focused and stay on the road God has for us. I felt the same way recently. The path God wanted me to take didn’t make much sense and wasn’t exactly my preferred path. I think I checked out every bush along the way. It wasn’t until I exhausted myself to the point of surrender did I start to see this path was good for me. I pray God blesses you on this path He’s taking you.

    Bless you:)

  4. Are we on the same path? Because it sounds like it! I can’t see it very well either, but He’s leading me, one day, one step at a time – and I’m getting the hang of this faith walking in the dark! Proverbs 16:9 reminds me of just handing God the directions and saying, “Tell me where to go” – and I’m good with that now.

    I know you’ve been busy lately and I KNOW it has to be challenging – but a friend passed me some encouragement and I wanted to pass it along to you, to encourage you in this new season – and let you know that you bless me with your friendship and writing! Stop by and when you have time, pass it to a friend in the blogahood who has blessed you!

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