We currently live with an animal determined to chew up everything in site. (I always say I will never have another dog and then I get another one…sigh). This one has already found a special place in all our hearts. Sam is smart, playful and encourages us to get outside more than normal. In fact, Mr. Bell keeps losing pounds all over the neighborhood because he walks the dog so much! When I walk him, people stop just to tell me what a good-looking dog he is. One person even stopped their car to tell me. It is as if I was walking with Matt Damon down the street! People were just stopping to look. It’s a bit strange, really. But Sam is a nice looking dog.
One thing about our dog that the normal person cannot see is the amount of toys that have been chewed to their death in this house (our tent). In anticipation of the dog, Mr. Bell and the little Bells drove off to buy a comfortable dog bed (chewed up), tennis balls (chewed up), stuffed duck (chewed up), and ropes (chewed up). In addition, toilet paper, dish towels, a jazz shoe, precious toys (imagine the tears here) and everything else in site have met their death in the teeth of this good-looking dog. My latest suggestion was to just start handing him $20 bills to chew up and save the gas money!
But of course even this dog chewing business reminds me of God. (Stay with me.) Everyday, God gives us opportunities to notice God’s presence. Some days, God gives us something big such as a clear direction on which choice to make in our family or career. Some days God puts someone in our path that gives us words of comfort or encouragement strait from God! Those days are amazing aren’t’ they? All of these God encounters are like the tennis balls around our house. They are everywhere. They come in lots of colors. And they keep coming.
Our response is the key. If we are like Sam, the good-looking dog, we tear right through them barely noticing they were there in the first place. If we are aware, we resist tearing through them and we play with the ball that came our way. We explore it. We see what we can do with it. We see where it will take us. We show it to other people. We embrace it. God is good at gift giving. Some balls that are tossed our way are meant to last a lifetime and others are just to get us through the day. Either way, they are not put in our paths to be ignored or torn apart.
I hope a lot of tennis balls come your way soon and I hope you do not follow in Sam’s paw prints. Instead, enjoy the gifts of love from God and have fun playing in God’s creation.