May 18, 2009
Jane: It had been a grueling three weeks. Intense, even. I'd had my nose to the grindstone, working long hours every day to complete a freelance book project. I'd been so consumed with this assignment that I'd found it difficult to take time off for a quick trip to the park or a simple stroll around the neighborhood with Rich and the dogs.
Finally, with a click of "send now," the project launched from my laptop into cyberspace, aiming for the publisher's in-box. Now--whew--I could put the eyestrain and frayed nerves behind me.
So I loaded Boomer and Daisy into the car and headed west for the dog park. Once there, the dogs dashed ahead of me in a meet-and-greet frenzy of sniffing and rumbling, then excitedly followed me along the wide mulched path. Before long they were lured off the path by some invisible scent; running like the wind, leaping with pure joy through the waving green grasses, they searched for its source. I plodded on, knowing I'd catch up to them sooner or later. All the while, I felt as though I was coming out of a long, dreary sleep.
As the sun warmed my face, I thought about how fortunate these canine creatures are. They have no deadlines to keep; no professional reputation to maintain. No worries about where their next meal will come from, or what they will wear, or what will happen to them tomorrow. They live a life filled with simple pleasures and blissfully greet each one as if it was as fresh and exciting as the first time they experienced it. And they always respond to my presence with unconditional love and contentment.
I thought about how unlike them I usually am. I worry too much about image and aging, about deadlines and expectations, about what to wear and what to buy and what to eat. This emotional baggage weighs me down; it too often prevents me from living with true joy. Yet at the same time, I believe in a God who cautions me about worry, who lovingly tends to the lilies of the field, who promises abundant life to those who love and follow him. What a disconnect!
So my morning walk with Boomer and Daisy showed me how acutely I need to take a cue from my exuberant, uncomplicated dog friends. I need to live more fully in the moment, casting aside my complex cares and selfish concerns. I need to offer more unconditional love to those around me and to develop more contentment with what life hands me. I need to spend more time savoring and less time stressing; to be keen on the scent of life's beautiful blessings, to chase after its incredible possibilities, and to stay attuned to God's powerful, unseen presence.
Just as my dogs bring me joy when they're being their truest selves, I too bring my Creator joy when I'm being my truest self, doing what I was created to do: Loving. Laughing. Worshiping. Blessing others. Being alert to the sheer wonder and awesome scope of his Creation.
Thanks, Boomer and Daisy, for blessing me with this reminder. And help me to pass it on.
Posted by Rich, Jane, Boomer, and Daisy at 12:01 AM