For those of you who haven’t been following the blog for long and maybe don’t know a lot about my family life, we have a dog, Lamar. He featured in some of my earlier blogs, when I shared that my beloved mongrel had been viciously attacked by another dog and chased into oncoming traffic on the carriageway that resulted in a broken femur. It was pretty horrendous at the time but we have all lived to tell the tale, so it’s all good.
Lamar joined us March 2018 when I bought him for my son’s 15th birthday and, besides giving him his ridiculous name that constantly needs explanation, the responsibility all kind of fell onto me which, if I’m not mistaken, is a fairly common occurrence with ”family pets”
So, I’m Lamar’s walker, feeder, poop scooper and general caregiver. I’m the person who replaces all the things he has chewed, like his harness if it is not immediately removed after a walk. So the last harness was replaced with a collar. I’ll be honest, only laziness has prevented me from replacing the last chewed harness with a new one because I had one in the house. But that collar is a flipping curse. He constantly pees on the lead, gets it caught under one leg after peeing, gets in a tangled mess, ties himself up in knots, because the attachment for the lead falls round to below his jaw whereas the harness kept the lead up high on his back. I really must replace it this week!
So as you can guess, neither Lamar or myself are fans of the collar. As we were walking along the road on one of our walks, Lamar was staying close to me and really getting under my feet. I blame the stupid collar. I kept looking down at Lamar, shouting move on, move on DOG! We all know that when annoyed with a human you call it out full name including middle names but if you’re annoyed at the animal you just call in by its species.
i.e., DOG! Right? right! He was staring up with his dopey big love you eyes that say, why you cross at me? You know the eyes. The more this went on, the more frustrated and aggravated I got, to the point where I was about to turn and head back from my walk.
My dog walking time is usually blasting worship music or a podcast and a bit of solitude time with God. I had worship blasting in my ears, so you can imagine the scene…
I love you, Lord! DAMN IT DOG, MOVE!!!
Another insult to Lamar later, and I heard a gentle whisper from God telling me, look up, stop looking at the problem that hasn’t happened yet. God was so right. I was putting all my energy and focus into looking at the problem, or at least what I thought was my problem. It was distracting me and getting me irritated, and the problem hadn’t even happened. I hadn’t tripped or fallen over Lamar, just the thought that I might was distraction enough.
Turns out, as soon as I starting marching forward and ignoring my hesitating doggy stares from Lamar, he got bored and just started walking normally ahead of me.
I laughed into myself, accompanied by an all-knowing eye roll. God had made a very obvious valid point so subtly, as he does a lot of the time, in his loving, caring manner. I thought of just how much in life when I see problems in front of me, all my focus goes into that problem. My time with God is overshadowed by the nuisance and me trying to figure out how to fix the problem, getting myself more and more aggravated and distracted by the problem and allowing it steal my joy and peace instead of looking up. Looking up to God, looking forward and past the problem. Just like with Lamar, when we look up to God and put our focus and attention on moving forward with God, a lot of the time what we thought was going to cause us to stumble and fall doesn’t because God has gone ahead of us and removed the problem or cleared the path. Or perhaps, the impending problem was just a distraction assignment from the enemy to get our focus away from God.
Is there anything that you are allowing take your eyes off the road ahead?
What is causing you to look down at your problem instead of God?
What do you need to do today in your life today to readjust your focus on God?
“I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
Psalms 121:1-8 NLT
As you can see below Lamar is not great at posing for photos, but here he is with his dumb collar