Early yesterday morning I took my dog out for a walk. The light of day had yet to penetrate the darkness of night and I found myself walking down my snow covered road in early pre-dawn darkness. What light there was, reflected off the freshly fallen snow giving the earth an eerie glow. Stars glittered overhead and my dog, my lovely little dog, decided to walk as erratically as she possibly could.
Over the years, her and I have both lost a step or two. Just a couple of years ago this pre-dawn walk would have been a pre-dawn run, but now with her bum rear leg and me with my bum back we have to settle to go through life at a reduced pace.
Yet despite her bum leg, my dog tugged gently at the leash as she stopped to sniff this and then she would hobble over there to sniff that. Each subtle tug of the leash made me wish I had spent more time training her on how to heel.
I paused roadside to allow her to color some snow yellow and once she finished she took two steps forward before sniffing a mailbox. She then resumed hobbling back and forth and my patience started to wear thin. Each time she paused I tugged slightly firmer on the lease. Pause, tug. Pause, tug. Pause, tug. The situation repeated itself over and over.
I finally had had enough and I said with a firm voice, “Brandy heel.” Brandy looked at me and then started sniffing the snow again, pursuing some scent put down by some animal in the middle of the night. All I wanted was a relaxing walk and here I have to spent my morning correcting my dog’s errant behavior.
My dog and I walked into a stream of light being cast off by a home’s security light and as I watched her pause to take a sniff at the snow I realized that in my own life I have spent way to much time tugging at the lease.
I know that there have been times in my life when I have refused to follow the path that God has prepared for me. There have been times where instead of walking with God I have spent my time going this way or that way and getting in the way of His plan for me rather than living it.
Each time I have paused to sniff this or stop for that God gently tugs at my heart and gives me the gentle correction I need. He waits for me patiently on the path he has prepared for me and allows me to return to it. While I may have lost a step or two over past few years, I now find myself walking with God more in my life than I ever have. This Advent season I am very grateful for these gentle corrections and slow pre-dawn walks with my dog.