I try to walk Louis, a chocolate standard poodle and Lucy a long haired dachshund as much as possible. It can be quite a chore. Lucy being the oldest and in her mind, in charge, thinks that she is entitled to walk out in front. Louis is a big two-year-old. He worries constantly that Lucy is going to abandon him. He jerks and pulls the entire walk.
Over the summer, I borrowed my daughter’s running leash. I put the waistband on and attached Louis to the other end. Now, when he jerks, he gets less traction because instead of just jerking my arm, he is pulling against my core. It is a lot less stressful to my shoulder plus it gives me a free hand. After a while, I have been able to correct him less. He began to see and accept that when I stopped, he stopped.
This reminded me of a story that my husband told me. There is a famous Quarter horse ranch in Texas called the King Ranch. Long ago they would take their weanling colts who had rarely been handled and tether them to one of the farm’s experienced donkeys. At first the young horse would have a fit, trying to go where he wanted, when he wanted. The donkey did not care what the colt wanted. He didn’t care how big a fit he threw. He did what donkeys do. He ate when he wanted and slept when he wanted. And, didn’t get all that excited. Soon the colt began to learn patience.
As I walked Louis one morning, I began to see myself in the role of the jackass. I got a little chuckle. I realized that it was important to keep Louis safe and to teach him that Lucy would not leave him and that he would be okay.
I began to wonder as I walked these lovable mutts if I too was like the foolish poodle always worrying. Perhaps God was keeping me tethered. Sometimes I want my life to be in a different place and yet I can’t seem to find the direction that I need to take it there.
Could it be that when I am confused and can’t figure out my next step that God is keeping me close until I am ready? And when I am truly ready, the understanding will become clear.
But, do I really know the right places to look? Scripture reminds me of Jesus words stating that if we serve ‘the least of these’, that we will be serving Him. Scripture also tells me to look in places that seem counterintuitive: the first will be last and the last will be first.
Could it be that his core strength is with me in my insecurities and my fears? I’d like to think that he is. In my most uncomfortable spots, I am tethered to God. I should remind myself that if that is the case, how can I be lost? Why should I be afraid?
If I can just step back from my situation for a moment and ask, ‘What am I to learn here in this situation, Lord?’, then maybe I can arrive where God wants me a little sooner.
I am a daughter, sister, aunt, mother and probably most notoriously, ‘the Vet’s wife’.