Finding the Way

The first morning we had him we went for a walk to the north end of Fifth Street. While we were there a few dogs came out to check him out and “explain” to him this was their territory. Every evening and morning following that encounter I had a difficult time getting our new dog to go for a walk with me. I had decided he was just lazy. We would walk to the curb at our home and he would just sit down. It was like he was saying, “Well, that’s enough walk for me, I’m done, let’s go back inside.” No amount of coaxing would work and the “walk” didn’t do much for me other than raise my blood pressure.
This morning I opted for another tact. Now, I am reluctant to say our new puppy is really this smart and has that good of a memory, now some five days since his encounter with his brothers and/or sisters to the north, but something interesting happened. Rather than walking north from our home I decided to try to go south for our “walk.” He never missed a step; we walked to highway 50 and then some and back. Was it just a new way or did Simeon really remember the dogs at the other end of town? It’s hard to say, when I ask him he just looks at me and wags his tail.
There is something to be said though, of knowing which way to go. There is something to be said about trusting one’s instincts, if that is what it is, when it reminds us there is possible danger ahead.
Our journey of life and faith is often full of detours, rough roads, dangerous paths, and folks who tell us we should not be where we are. Sometimes I believe staying faithful to the path requires us to approach our fears and the dangers that lie ahead and trust we are doing the right thing. And sometimes we do well to not venture into areas that may do us harm. It is, I believe, something that requires patience, discernment, and trust; all the while knowing God is with us no matter where we end up.
My walk with Simeon was enjoyable this morning but I am convinced that he needs to learn to go north as well. He needs to learn that there will always be things along the journey that seem scary until we can learn, to quote a famous line, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He needs to learn that others even though they are a little different are still part of his family. I am confident he will learn it, but it will take time and patience.
I pray, as you journey along in life and love that your path finds you safe from harm, and when you do encounter those times that cause you to pause and ponder turning back, you know you are not alone, that God is with you.

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