Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hiding in the Tunnel

During the same blistering hot Dog Days event I spoke of in the last blog post, dogs were performing amazing feats of frisbee catching. There was a big black dog that could catch 5 frisbees without dropping one. That poor hot dog leapt like fire in the blazing sun, absorbing all those searing rays of sun in his dark coat. His tongue hung out a mile when it wasn't wedged in his mouth by 5 Frisbees.

Finally, mercifully, the demo was over and the owner told the dog to go gather the frisbees and "load up". "Load up" is dog lingo for hop back in your crate and get some goodies for enduring heat prostration. The dog was one of the most obedient creatures I have ever seen. He had tirelessly leapt after all those tossed frisbees, not once putting his paws on his hips and growling, "If catching these stupid things is so important to you, why don't you run your tail off with your coat on fire and have a go at it?"

He had swirled left on command, right on command, upside down on command.... and now he dutifully gathered a mouthful of frisbees in the tormenting sun. And then he eyed the Agility Tunnel against the fence and the seed of rebellion was born. Without a backward glance as his owner called to him, he trotted to the tunnel, crawled deep into its shaded recesses and lay down. "Go load up yourself," he mumbled through his frisbee-laden teeth.

The owner called and cajoled but the dog was having none of it. He had found shade and the desire to obey was overcome by the desire to cool down. He did not chance pushing his defection too far. He somehow panted without dropping a frisbee.

The owner was afterall, a good and kind owner, and she walked over to the tunnel and told the dog she understood it was hot, and she would get him into some shade and give him a nice cool drink. And he did not have to pick up any more frisbees. She had retrieved the rest. The dog looked at her and sighed, and crawled out of the tunnel.

I love the story of the talking donkey in the Bible. His owner, disobeying God and trying to prophesy against God's wishes for monetary gain, is stymied by his donkey who refuses uncharacteristically to go a step further. The owner beats the donkey and finally, the poor donkey speaks, to the astonishment of all. ( some liberty taken in paraphrasing while remaining true to the story's message.)
"Have I been in the habit of disobeying you?" asks the stricken donkey.
"No", admits the callous owner,"That's why I don't understand why you are doing so now."
"Because, you blind idjit, the angel of the Lord is standing there in the path and is enormously peeved...so much that if I hadn't laid down here, He would've killed you.... and might I add, it would have been no great loss. Heehaw."

Likewise, that poor Frisbee dog should not have been asked to run and jump in sun so powerful that it even holds Pluto in its grasp. Not on such a blazing hot day. We all ask others to do stupid things at times, and sometimes we are restrained by the groanings of a dumb beast....or by silent pleas of eyes of those weaker and unwilling to speak out against us. I think God shows us His will in many remarkable and unexpected ways... and I think when it opposes our will, all of us "beat the donkey" sometimes instead of listening.

2 Peter 2:15-17 (New International Version)

15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

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