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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another one of those lessons from the dog (patience)

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Psalms 4:4 (KJV)

For the last 9 days, I have committed at least 15 minutes (early morning or before bed) to stillness and meditation. This isn’t random prayer, or the snatches of conversation in which I engage the Almighty (I have committed to continual prayer…keeping an open channel). This is time set aside for nothing but quiet meditative prayer. I slip in my ear buds, and assume a posture of repose on the floor. I’ve been using guided meditations, which I do in our library (the same place where I blog daily). My dog is usually asleep on the floor.

Sometimes, we want what we want, 
and God’s peace and God’s timing 
do not align with what we think we need. 
Today I received another lesson from the dog...
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My puppy is growing up. When he was little, if you were on the floor, you were his jungle gym. I don’t know why I decided to lay on the floor (humbling myself, the firmness of the hardwood, proximity to the CPU, it’s cooler there?), but on the first morning, and every morning since, my dog has joined me there. It’s particularly amusing as he rises from his position elsewhere, and after stretching (when you see that, you understand why yogis call it downward dog) comes to lie beside me. The first morning he came near me, but did not touch. I reached out to stroke his fur, but remained quiet and focused. Each day he gets a little closer, until he finds himself snuggled beside me, with either a paw or his big ol’ head on my stomach or leg.

Here’s the lesson. This morning he was ready to exercise when I was ready to pray. He told me about it, repeatedly, and the urgency in his puppysong was evident. I, however was steadfast. And, in what become incredibly instructive, he submitted his will and desire to mine. He quieted down, placed his head on my tummy, and began to breathe easily.

In meditation there is focus upon the breath. Even breathing is evidence of a restive state. As my puppy tried valiantly to get his message across, his heart raced. He wanted to go out, walk, and play, and was not to be placated. I can so relate. Sometimes, we want what we want, and God’s peace and God’s timing do not align with what we think we need. Today I received another lesson from the dog.
I patiently but firmly, without disturbing my peace, settled him down. (Sound familiar?) As he reclined beside me, I stroked his fur, and felt his heart rate drop. He trusted me. He still wanted to go out, walk, and play, but he surrendered his desires to my will. We meditated, he nuzzled against me, and I’m certain I smiled more because of his warmth.  Today I received another lesson from the dog.

He knew I’d walk him, water him, feed him. He trusted me absolutely to meet his needs. Dogs get this surrender thing way better than we do, and for the lesson he taught me this morning, I am deeply thankful, both to my puppy, and Lord to You (you use many voices). If you could put language on Balaam’s a~~ and cause the stones to cry out, I can certainly, once again, listen to my dog. Today’s sermon came from the dog. Selah, woof, and amen. A living, breathing reminder that God is good.
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If you're looking for something else wonderful to read today, try this http://www.incourage.me/2012/07/when-its-best-not-to-listen-to-the-voice-in-your-head.html#comment-145513

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