The Number One Reason to Listen to Your Dog, Matthew 6:29-30
· Weekly Devotions
Did you know that dogs are NOT colour blind? Your vet or even random Google pages will support that it's a myth. But I never believed it anyway, because our previous dog obviously loved pink.
It was the day I toted a mountain of household paraphernalia all at once in my hands as I all of a sudden (and it was, at that) found it necessary to take them from the den to the kitchen: a teapot, a mystery book, a fireplace lighter, a tea cup, a tea saucer, an empty glass, a gardening book, some pottery, some lotion, and my travel camera and wallet in my pockets. It had been an extremely busy day with my class prep and tutoring or I had simply been lacking in entertainment, because to be honest, I was quite amused and entertained by my own balancing act. Ah, the gift of functional limbs. I should be grateful!
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my dog, Satchel.
As I carried my bounty up the stairs I glanced casually through the picture window and I caught the canine in an interesting position. He was on his back, under our tulip magnolia tree. This is not an odd position for any dog, of course – what was unusual for him was that he wasn’t sleeping. He was staring up at the pink blossoms and flicking his paws sporadically in the air, as if he were waving to the birds on the feeder. Oh yes, he was probably flicking away wee insects that bother him so or very possibly responding to a reflex from lying on his back like that, but I swear it looked like he was communicating with the aviation in our yard. At any rate, the big guy was clearly enjoying himself. He was staring up at one particular limb, looking up and down, and (I am not making this up) he was smiling.
Immediately, my cargo became a burden. A whiny little girl voice spoke inside me: I want to lie down and stare up at birdies and pink pedals! That bundle of supplies I skillfully carried in my hands was a great reflection of how much we (okay, I) try to juggle in daily life. We try to do everything at once, gathering it all in our hot little fists and patting ourselves on the back for being so ambitious. Oh, nothing is wrong with ambition, no. I admire it and often try it! But for me, at that particular moment, I was so blindingly busy with work that I thought it would actually be easier to get one hundred things to the kitchen at one time. So I tried - and failed. The good thing is the reason I failed. I "failed" because I put down my bits and pieces of unimportant stuff and joined my dog on the grass, under the magnolia tree. He didn't even move; he just let me get beside him. Remember one of the things I had in my pocket? So glad for that as this is what we saw:
Yes, this is our tree and not a stock image. ;0)
“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old time is still a flying: And this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.” Robert Herrick (To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, 1635)
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:29-30
"You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road if you don't stop and smell the roses along the way..."
Yes, I just thought to quote Mac Davis directly after Jesus (welcome to my brain). As you now know, it wasn't lilies or rosebuds that Satch and I saw ... but those perky pink magnolias made it pretty clear to me that day that there are more important things to consider.
Life goes on. Two months after Satch passed a few years later, a new dog found us. We are in a different house now, but a fun surprise was seeing something we didn't realize until after we moved in -- there is another tulip magnolia in our new backyard! I may not daily get the chance to lie beneath it because of it's location, but that one silly moment years ago was pretty significant. Therefore, it does run through my mind often and I will smile many times as I pass under the pretty pink blossoms in the spring.
Today is my birthday. Not spring, no. But I WILL still be "considering the lilies" today ... and every day. I miss that ol' dog sometimes. But one thing that sticks out in my memory of him is that one teachable moment where he unintentionally taught me about not making a burden out of time.
Oh, and all that stuff I was working on that day? I got it all done with time to spare. Thanks to Satch, with whom I shared a much needed refreshing moment under our tulip magnolia.