Lessons in Everyday Life – part two
Three days, three lessons. Each time it occurred, I was engaged in an average activity. Then in the middle of ordinary, the Holy Spirit stood up and had something to say.
Unlike like last time, reclined and relaxed in a beautiful beach setting, I was taught a lesson through everyday life while out on my bike.
Oh, it wasn’t a leisurely ride or one intended as exercise. Instead, it was all about the four legged furry animal that lives in our home. You see, I was riding my bike for the sole purpose of walking the dog. As unusual as it sounds; it’s absolutely necessary. You see, “Faith”, our family pet is a fast runner and has an abundance of energy.
Midway through our normal stunt, I began to perspire. Trying to ignore the heat, I looked down and peered at Faith’s sleek body and shiny black coat. With respect and resolve, I thought, “We aren’t going home, until I wear you out!” Around and around the neighborhood we went. I pedaled and she panted. The faster I went, the faster she ran.
On our third lap, we received a welcomed reprieve. “Hey Elizabeth! How are you today?” my neighbor called out as she walked into the street. As I slowed my pedal stroke, she approached the front tire. “I am well, how are you?” I asked, coming to a soft stop. Instantly, there were four of us squeezing in a visit on a muggy summer evening. My neighbor and I exchanged common pleasantries while watching her puppy, “Bandit” and my full grown mutt roll around.
“The girls have enjoyed watching Faith this summer,” she earnestly remarked. “I really appreciate their help while we are out of town,” I replied. “Elizabeth, she really is a great dog,” my neighbor added in gist.
My immediate response to her complement wasn’t expressed in words. Instead, all I could do was chuckle.
“Really?” I thought. I was sure she was totally unaware of the fact that Faith wiggles when she walks and runs sideways when she gets excited. Despite constant correction, she jumps on every person that walks through the door and has ripped through skin with her claws. On accident, thank goodness! As well, she eats her dinner at midnight and is traumatized when someone attempts to take her picture with a cell phone. Honestly, she hides under the bed for hours!
Regina smiled and nodded her head as I shared my laundry list of Faith’s downfalls. With the door opened to complain about our pets shortcomings, my friend added, “Yeah, I can relate. Bandit tinkles every time he gets excited. And, while out walking, sometimes, he just stops. He plops down and refuses to get up. We have to carry him home every time.”
I laughed, while I listened. After sharing faults as long as Santa’s scroll, Regina punctuated her statement, “It’s a wonder we still love them.” “You know you are right! They make us crazy with all their antics.” I confirmed.
Jumping, barking, licking, growling and whining all of it can be annoying and difficult to deal with. People spend enormous amounts of time, effort and money trying to train their animals to behave. Sometimes the pet’s behavior is corrected quickly. Other times, the furry beast goes back to doggie school.
Nonetheless, we love them!
As the perspiration beaded my brow, I pulled Faith’s leash a tad bit tighter, pushed back in my bicycle seat, and said my goodbyes. With each rotation of the wheels, Faith and I headed back home. However, I sensed the Spirit wasn’t ready to say, “So long …!”
“Elizabeth, there is more here to learn” stirred in my soul. Again, I felt like God wanted me to listen for His lesson. In a whisper of thoughts that wafted through my brain, I heard, “That’s exactly how I love you!” “Despite your flaws and personality quirks, I love you!” the spirit of Jesus softly spoke. “In all your mess and madness, I will care for you!” delivered the spirit of God to the depths of my soul.
Certainly this isn’t new news. At the sweet age of two, I was singing Jesus Loves Me This I know, for the Bible tells us so…. By the age of 12, I could recite John 3:16, “For God so loved the world …” As an adult, I became aware of Augustine’s famous quote, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”
However, at that very moment slouched in a bicycle seat, sticky from the moisture that hung in the air and wheeling my way back towards my house it was the mental picture that made the difference. “Lord, thank you for that.” I whispered while climbing the cement curb. “Lord, simple imagery reminded me of your unending love,” I continued to respond to the powerful truth as I rolled down the driveway. Parking my bike in jowls of my garage, I expressed my gratitude, “Lord, I’m so grateful you speak to me in ways I can understand.”
~ When the Spirit of God mingles with the mundane one can expect to hear a magnetic and mighty message!
Certainly, a bath was required before I climbed into bed. The residual of a steamy evening spent outside needed to be removed from my skin. As I refreshed myself in the warm water, I soaked my spirit in the love of Christ. In all my mess-ups, He is going to love me. Through all my failed attempts, He is going to love me. Regardless, of my crazy characteristics and annoying habits, He is going to love me. And, when I finally get it right, He is going to love me.
Who would have thought, I could relearn so much while out on a walk.
~ In the middle of ordinary, it is a blessing to seek and see the Almighty! ~
This is the way God put it:
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
Jeremiah 31:3 – The Message
P.S. – stay tuned for Lessons in Everyday Life – part three