My very first blog post was about our Lab/Chow, Tucker. I remember wondering which topic would be worthy of such an important post. As I sat at my computer, Tucker began barking, and once I pulled him in the house, as I studied him, I realized I had found the perfect subject. Many times, Tucker was the 4-footed “lesson” God used to show me something about either myself or His character. After nearly 15 years with our beloved boy, we tearfully said goodbye to him this past weekend. In honor of my sweet boy and his constant companionship, I am republishing that original post.
Let me introduce you to Tucker. He is our very faithful, very large, very good watchdog.
I was at work on my computer this morning when Tucker started barking and wouldn’t stop. I wasn’t startled; I know his bark. He wasn’t protecting either his territory or me from an intruder; he was getting worked up over the trash truck. He does that.
Every Thursday. Every week. Without fail.
He barks ferociously and relentlessly until the trash truck is out of sight and down the block. And because there is a parade of trucks…one for the garbage, one for recycling and one for yard waste, he can easily spend all morning in a dizzying tirade. I don’t know if he’s genuinely afraid of them, or if he just doesn’t like the rumble they make.
Since I have a thing against noisy dogs (and neighbors who don’t take care of their noisy dogs), I went to the back door to call him in. Usually he’s reluctant. Numerous times I’ve run out at 6 a.m., still in my p.j.’s, attempting to grab his collar and pull him in, (which is no small feat for a large breed dog), but just as I get within “grabbing range”, he darts away, leaving me wondering how silly that scenario must appear to the neighbors!
This time though, he bounded up the hill and rushed into the house, out of breath and unsettled.
I tried to make him lie down next to me, but he would have none of it. Tucker knew the truck was still at the bottom of the hill and he could hear it slowly coming up toward the corner. His whole body stood tense as his eyes darted between the far wall ~ the one without windows ~ and the front door. Growling and barking, he ran to the front door, staring intently through the glass. I watched him, his ears forward and eyes wild. He was a huffing, drooling mess… and he could. not. rest.
As Tucker’s master, I know that the trash truck brings no real threat, but he doesn’t know that. And even though I’m right there with him, but he’s in such a tither that he doesn’t even notice me.
And it strikes me that I am like Tucker at times ~
I too, find it hard to rest. After all, life can be hard. And SCARY.
Some of that comes from my family of origin. Because I grew up in a very chaotic environment where bad things happened all the time, I believed that if I was going to be safe, I had to be on guard, vigilant, and watchful at all times.
The obvious problem with that? It never allowed me to be fully at rest.
Admittedly a good portion of the inability to rest comes from my personality type as well. I’m all about accomplishment, so I often think that if I stop and rest, I won’t get as much “done”.
And then, some of it is just plain ol’ human nature that says (the lie) that I have to do everything myself…I’m on my own here. Like Tucker, I get myself in a “state”, start worrying, and things just go downhill from there.
What is it that threatens to undo me? It’s usually the same things over and over, just like the trash truck is for Tucker.
My interaction with him this morning reminds me that the Lord is my faithful Master…He knows my anxieties (fears) and He knows when I need to rest.
I’m a work in progress, and too often, a slow learner. But I’m figuring out that my Master is present, even when I don’t notice. My Shepherd is always watchful and sees me through my distresses. And He protects me and keeps me so that I can fully rest.
I hope you are loving heaven good buddy. I told Jesus that your favorite treats are cheese, tuna and coffee with lots of cream ~ just like your mama likes it. When I get to heaven, I’ll whistle for you. Until then, play hard and run free.