2020-06-30 - The Adventure Awaits
Over the past week, my husband and I have started going for more consistent neighborhood walks. He also has started taking our dog, Melody, for walks as well. Some of the time, I had not been up to going, so they would go, and it seemed to do them both good. Then we began going as a group whenever possible, and it has been an interesting transition. When we first brought her home, it was late February in 2017, and so it had not been long since the second half of his school year (teacher) had begun. She was just getting settled into a routine in our family-so we did not try walks with her then. I began by doing some basic leash training with her on my own, which not always bode well, mainly due to her strength versus my back and knee issues. So I took a different approach of focusing mostly on her scheduled mental exercises of strategic playtime and training activities on the leash inside the house, later adding it outside in the yard. We also take car rides, which is another opportunity to give her the scent absorption that she loves so much.
We bonded well, and she proved my suspicions of being very intelligent and adept to learning new things quickly. An example would be one day after preparing for her to have a bath, I half-jokingly said, ”okay, go get in the bathtub,“ and that is exactly what she did! After getting her washed off, I thought, ”before, you were holding out on me letting me pick you up." Since then, all I must do is ask, and she goes and gets in the tub. She seems to like how the water and washing feel, as well as having my full attention 😊. Anyway, I just gave up on trying to take her for a walk on my own, due to several instances where an unforeseen event took place that either caused her to get wound up, or me - or both of us. Once was an older dog - appearing to be a Rottweiler mix - off a leash and entering her walking path as we came off a cul-de-sac while going back toward the house. The dog was headed to the empty lot across the street, as though it had done so before, and Melody was not at all happy about the disruption. We managed to get past him and go home, and a young man who came out with the pooch apologized, yet I found it to be a rather empty gesture, considering he did not bother having it leashed to begin with. While his critter did not seem at all unpleasant, it can still be difficult to predict how an encounter could develop and is much better managed with leading reins to grab. Following that experience, I did not feel as though I could safely maneuver her in a similar instance on my own.
Have you ever felt the unknown to be more an opponent rather than an adventure that awaits you? All we can do is try to prepare ourselves for potential adventures and whatever challenges come along with them, but beyond that, we must rely on our faith. It can be difficult at times-like the angst I felt many years ago, as a Doberman ran toward the edge of its yard while my Mom and I were riding by on our bikes. We had no clue if the dog would stop, and as he gained on our position to attack, the owner gave a simple, short command to stop and it turned back up the yard and disappeared. And what a relief! Mom turned to me and said, ”I have no idea what I was thinking, putting my feet in my basket! If he had not turned away, I would have fallen over-helping him to finish me off!“ Our instincts can kick in, combined with having the father on our side guiding us and we can be confident we are cared for, no matter what the result. He was carrying me as my fight or flight hit with the neighborhood dog loose and he apparently was carrying Mom and I both as we prepared for defense against the Doberman (some of us better prepared - NOT having our feet in a basket Ha-ha).
And while the unknown now has its ups and downs, the unknown awaiting us with the father of lights has a surety of love (John 3:16), forgiveness (Matthew 6:9-13), and peaceful future (John 14:27) with him. Sure, the exact experience of eternity with God is not easily understood right now, but the descriptions of it found in his word. including our connection to him, is his promise to us (Matthew 10:29-32) when we put our trust in him (1 Peter 2:9). And as I remind myself of how his care also applies to everyday living situations (Colossians 1:24-29), I am finding less stress in our family walks with Ms. Melody, knowing he carries me and has also paired me with a husband that will also have my back in all that we do. I am so grateful for the unknown that awaits me-each day here and in heaven. And as my Mom used to tell us, ”another fun, family thing-we are going to have fun if it‘s the last thing we do!“ So,prepare with him at your side, and go enjoy "a fun family thing." The adventure awaits you (Matthew 16:18).
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.