Wednesday, October 10, 2007

For the Living

Being in the right place at the right time can seem like an intelligent, purposeful thing we must do. But often it happens when we are bumbling around or flying out the door to a destination and God stops you in your tracks. It's just that when God helps you be in the right place at the right time, you often look like you're simply late for an appointment, or falling apart, messing up your organized day.

Yesterday, a day when I felt a black cloud over me but didn't want to dwell on why, I came home from the library, started to carry groceries I had bought earlier up to the house, got inside, stumbling around, trying to find room on the counter for all my bags, my purse, my dangling keys. The phone rings and it's my husband.

"Honey, Abby wound up taking the bus home, and she needs you to pick her up at the bus stop right now"- which was a drop off point ten minutes from our house. As he's talking, Abby calls me on my cell phone and I switch to her, "Yes, Abby, I'm on my way right now!" and I run out, locking the door behind me, only to get to my car and find out I have locked my keys inside the house.

To make a long story short, I fortunately had my cell phone on me and called Bill and sent him racing to meet the bus in time, while I stood outside and wandered around, trying to avoid Harry's poops all over the ground. I knew I would have about twenty to thirty minutes of doing nothing, so I wandered around the yard, near the woods. And wandered towards the front of the house...and then I saw them.

Two adorable little dogs , with the tags on their collars jangling like Christmas bells, were running down the street- in the middle of the road. Cars came whizzing around the blind corner we live on and narrowly missed one dog. I tried to call the dogs.

"Come here, sweet doggies," I called out. "Come on," I invited them- in my most inviting tone of voice. But they weren't buying. And they were not street smart either. They zig -zagged over the road, confused, frightened, and maybe a little happy for the adventure they were on- unaware they were in danger of losing their lives.

They took off in the other direction, now going up the street towards the main road- a busy, highly trafficked road where many accidents occurred- even without the addition of two sweet but stupid dogs prancing along.

I called Animal control and got the pager. Punched in my number. I get a call back and I yell out "Hurry!" and proceed to give him my street address and the details of these two little lost dogs.

"Oh, no" he says and then the officer is on his way. I can't see the two little dogs anymore and I'm guessing they are near the busy main road. I 'm standing on the hill in front our house and see my husband's work truck coming down the street. He has Abby with him, and as they get out of the truck, I tell them what has happened.

It all ended, miraculously, on a good note. I say miraculously because when the Animal Control Officer kindly called me back to relay the owner had gotten her dogs back safe and sound, he proceeded to share with me that this morning's incident with another dog in the street did not end so nicely.

Because I locked myself out of the house, all in a dither, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time to help save two little dogs' lives. For dog lovers out there, this is a big deal. For the more rational of sorts, this is not life changing news.

But let me tell you what I learned from this. This morning I chose to read some Scripture from Ecclesiastes- my book of choice when life is confusing, I'm not reading the signals from God too well, and I want to know if it's really worth all the effort I am putting into this thing called life. I turn the page and read this verse:

"But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion." Eccl.9:4

During the day yesterday, the fight had gone out of me. I can't tell you all the other circumstances as to why, but let's just say that I was aware that I had some influences in my life who were not "for" me. I did not feel like a roaring ,majestic lion yesterday. I felt like a pillow that had lost most of its stuffing- flat and worn out.

Then this episode with these adorable but confused little dogs happens. And God tells me something in all this: First, that I WAS in the right place at the right time.

And secondly, that it's better to be a living dog- maybe a little dumb at times as to safely navigating the roads of life. But at least I was alive. This world's exploits are for the living. And a living dog is better than a dead lion.

That's for sure.


Liara Covert said...

I have come to believe that absolutely everything happens at exactly the right time. God would like us to trust he knows best. He has his own sense of time beyond us.

Its easy enough to give into disappointment when some situation doesn't go your desired way. yet you never have all the pieces of the bigger picture. Yet Higher Forces give us signs that we can't possibly know what course of action would truly be in our best interests.

Life experience has taught me to find joy wherever I am in whatever my conditions. That hasn't always come easily. I used to fight certain situations and feel like I was beating my head against the wall. I thought, 'if at first I don't succeed, try, try again until I do.' Yet, my ignorance let me assume my sense of success at that time was what was right for me. I've since evolved to see anew. Rigidity and inflexibility hinder wheras open-mindedness and faith are what enable us to rise higher to new soul levels.

A New Destination said...

Thank you for your comment.

I would like to ask you this. In Iraq, aren't Sunnis and Shiites different sects under the one religion of Islam? If so, then why is it that they are fighting for political dominance?I see a connection to politics that divides the nation right here. In have the Protestants and the Catholics who still have bitter rivalry in Ireland.

Lauren at Faith Fuel! said...

New Destination- thank you for considering my comment on your blog. Just to clarify, I was only trying to get at the point that what we believe so fiercely- religious, political, etc- sometimes has to do more with our identity or fear of being different. If you get to know any Christians, it isn't just the Catholics that we might have rivalry with. It could be our own mothers or our neighbors or the church down the street! (God help us- and redeem us!) We can forget the Savior's love and grace and go off on our own agenda, off to battle - and forget the battle is not about what is wrong in this life- but Who can help us find the way to peace.