Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
Our life has gone to the dogs. Youngest son and his lovely wife are in Virginia for four weeks to work at the Boy Scout Camp where youngest son is a river guide and M. is a caving and rappelling instructor. They consider the time a vacation and in fact, youngest son wrangled four weeks leave from his job to go. But, their dog, my granddog, Summer, cannot go. Not because they don’t want her to be a part of their adventures, but because I worry about what might happen to her. I manage to block the worries over my children, because they wouldn’t listen to me anyway, but at least they mind my warnings about their dog. As long as I am willing to keep her. So, now, we have four dogs for the month or more, which is way too many dogs for any portion of the year. I feel like I am always wading through dogs. There is always someone under foot. At feeding time, they all have to be separated and if someone doesn’t finish their food, it has to immediately be picked up so that fights do not break out. Sai, the Corgi, thinks he rules the roost and can be vicious if he thinks that one of the other dogs is after his dinner. Lucy, the Doberman, is actually the matriarch and is lenient up to a point. She tolerates everyone for a while, but can put even Sai under her thumb, or paw. My darling Cory is at the bottom of the chain and mornings are particularly rough for her. For some reason, in the mornings when they first go out, the other three love to torment and harass my little girl. She runs as fast as she can with Sai swinging from his grip on her collar, but eventually, Summer and Lucy will corner her. Then, the growling and snarling kicks into full gear with Cory on the bottom of the snapping, barking dog pile. I interrupt, of course, and as long as she is right at my side, the others will leave her alone. We get some great heeling done during those morning bully sessions as she knows that leaving my protection will put her back under their control. But, sometimes, she can’t resist, thinking she can make it to the back door on her own and despite my warning, she takes off running away from me only to find herself wedged underneath the car trying to get away from the mad dog pack. I rescue her once again and with my hand on her head guide her to safety. I cannot help but think how I so often choose independence instead of the protective hand of my Heavenly Father. I can handle this, I think. I don’t need any help and then, like Cory, I am surrounding by the raging world, hurt and afraid. For me, submission, constantly walking with God, is a minute by minute choice. What about you?