Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Cory and I attended a two day nosework seminar. Nosework is just what it sounds, letting a dog work their nose. Dogs are taught to recognize a drop of three different scents, birch, anise and clove and to search for those scents hidden in a variety of different places including in containers, on vehicles, outside, in rooms or even, above their heads. The scents were chosen by the creators of nosework as not being commonly found odors but ones that could be acquired by the average person. The work is similar to what detection dogs do, but is for all dogs, so controlled substances are not an option. It requires the dog to think, use their God given abilities and to work independently from their handler. In the early training, the handler knows where the odor is hidden, but later, the hides are “blind.” Only the dog knows where it is hidden since the receptors in their noses are thousands of times better than humans. Cory loves nosework, and I have seen growth in her confidence which was repressed by our bonding and her constant attention to my needs. At the seminar, we hunted for scent in a multitude of places including high on a shelf, hanging from a tree, under a truck and in luggage. She will be a rock star at nosework when her handler (aka me) learns to keep up with her. I was constantly being reminded to reward her for her work because I was so focused on remembering what my next step should be! Food is Cory’s motivator, and I felt like a Roast Beef flavored Pez Dispenser before the weekend was over. I learned many new things, but the one that stands out to me most is the advice to “take a moment to stay curious and let the dog work.” It is hard not to step in and give her hints on odor location when I know where it is hidden or to reward her when she indicates that she has caught a glimpse of the smell. But, our training was to learn to be precise and to wait until the dog put its nose on the odor to show that she knew where it was coming from, not just that it was present. In other words, not that it was in the box, but in what corner of the box it could be found. So, I learned to trust Cory, stand back and let her work without interruption, knowing that eventually, she would lead me to the place I needed to be. Hmm. Sound familiar? It is equally as hard to “stay curious and let God work.” It is okay to wonder, but we want to rush through the process or tell Him what we want to happen. Let’s just get through this God and move on. But, like my relationship with Cory, the process is as important as the final outcome. I am learning to trust her. So, why not God?