This is a guest post by Cara Callbeck.
Just like any other day, I walked through the door to my house and was greeted by my dog, anxious to be let outside after being cooped up in the house while my family was at work at school. Acting on “autopilot”, I grabbed my dog’s ball and threw it outside for her to chase. I had turned around and started going through the mail when I heard that familiar whining of the gate being swung open. I got to the window just in time to see my dog trot right out of the yard. She didn’t even have her collar on.
Still dressed in my office clothes, I rushed out the door in full chase mode. It was raining. I was not impressed. After two years, our dog would still take her first chance to escape our family. Our dog doesn’t like us, I was thinking, after all we’ve done for her rescuing her from a shelter a couple of years ago. I caught sight of her a few houses down and she looked at me. I called to her and waved the treats. Much to my frustration, she then ran in the other direction with more energy than I’d seen from her in a while. She stopped again by a tree a few more houses down and waited until I saw her, then she hid behind a tree. I started toward the tree, and when I was within a few feet, calling her sweetly, she bolted off again. She played this game of run, wait, run, wait again until we were both thoroughly soaked. The game ended when I cornered her about two blocks from my house in another family’s back yard. When I finally got my dog back on her leash securely, I was wet, angry, cold and completely fed up with this dog of mine. My dog, on the other hand, was thrilled with the game she had just played, the great quality time she got with me, and with the treat she got for it all. She spent the next few hours wearing her goofy doggie grin non-stop. Clearly, she really enjoyed our little adventure.
Letting Go for Adventure
When I finally calmed down from the whole ordeal, I thought back to how my dog had other plans for how my day was going to go, how she led me down a path of her choice and not mine (as is the usual deal when I have her on her leash and I am in control) and she was always watching me. She never ran away from me, and she took me on that adventure with love. How like that little adventure is our life with Christ. He, too, leads us where we do not want to go – a path of His choosing and not ours. And on that journey, He is always watching us with love, encouraging us to keep going, despite the rain in our lives. “Follow me,” Jesus asks us. Yesterday, I followed, but grumbling all the way.
I do wish that I had found God on that chase while it was happening, realizing that God was asking me, though my dog, to act with love rather than exasperation, and to let go of my control just a little. I missed so much on that chase – I never stopped to smell the rain, look around at spring coming to life in our neighbourhood, or even to pet and play with my dog when she came back to me in all of her muddy, happy glory. Hopefully I’ll remember all of that next time I hear the creaky old gate swing open and I’m called to another adventure.
Cara Callbeck is a Human Resources professional who writes in her free time. She is a lover of Jane Austen, all things Ignatian, and travelling with her family. Cara lives in mid-Canada with the two greatest blessings in her life (her husband, Rudy, and daughter, Emma) and of course, the dog – a cocker spaniel named Brandy.
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