Monday, September 13, 2010

Clouds as Ear Plugs

The next dog won't have one smidgen of terrier in it. It won't dig out of fences, bark at owls all night, chew apart heavy plastic crates, dissemble wire crates, or break little toes while playing tug with leash. If there is a next dog. Even cute and fluffy has its limits. Man does not live on cute alone, but on every minute of sleep that terriers deprive him of. I believe that is in the Bible, and if it isn't, it ought to be.

We set Lucky up with a nice fluffy soft bed in the bottom of his palatial plastic crate Carol had given us. We served him an appetizer to make his stay more pleasant, and turned back his sheets. We closed the door assuring him that room service would be back in the morning to serve him a complimentary full buffet breakfast.

And then, the sawing and pounding and clawing and grinding began. In the morning, a small slat of the thick plastic crate was pulverized. Plastic dust marked the demolition spot. The crate is not yet destroyed and useless, but one more night of the Terrier Take-down, and it will be. The donated wire crate was a little too small for Lucky, so under dire threat from Arvo who is losing sleep in buckets and is not at all happy about it, I went out to find an indestructible wire crate. It is him or the dog, he warned, and it isn't him that will be leaving our happy abode.  We donated both crates to Hollow Creek Farm where dogs are homeless, but not deranged.

I think this qualifies as one of those struggles in life where God is patiently trying to mold and shape me. It has been 8 years of trying to keep Lucky contained and civilized. Our expectations are not outrageous. We don't want him barking all night, and we don't want him escaping over the fence and heading off to busy suicide highways. I think we have tried everything we could, and now crating him, the dog who hates to be confined, is our last resort.

I have a few of these constant, ever present struggles in life. Paul of the Bible talks about a thorn in his side that despite constant pain, struggle, and prayer, the Lord saw fit not to remove. We all have them.  A sarcastic nature that wounds over and over again but can't be reined in, a rebellious child that we can't love into returning, a continual battle with mounting expenses and dwindling resources, a body that is growing weaker despite all our efforts to stop the flow of time, an algebra problem that we think is unsolvable though the text insists it can be done.....

Those little irritants sit like a tick in the back of our mind, growing and bloating as it sucks the life blood out of us.  God sees fit to let them remain sometimes. I have long since learned that "why" is a question God almost never answers. He never answered Job who begged to have counsel with Him over that very thing.  God only answers "how" with any consistency.  How  then are we to live, given these thorns that prick and bleed?
Turn your eyes to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, He tells us.
That's it? That's the best the creator of the Universe can offer?
It is. The Best. The Very Best. In the end, it is the Only thing.
When my eye is on Jesus, completely on Jesus, I don't see the dog eating concrete walls; I don't hear the grinding of canine teeth. I see my Savior, and the joy that one day will be mine... a good night's sleep with clouds as earplugs.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (New International Version)

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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