Saturday, June 20, 2009

On a Long Leash

If I don't get up at 6(ish) every day to run with our rescue dog, Cooper, he leaves enormous and smelly "presents" for me under my sewing table. No where else in the house. Always directly under where I sit. Since I spend at least an hour a day in my studio I like it to be poop-free. I know, crazy!

I paid the price today. Slept til 7. The rascal left his surprise. I didn't want to risk another, so I laced up the old sneakers and took him out. Running with him is a lot like trying to shop for groceries with a toddler and thank God I'm not doing that anymore. They have to touch everything, explore, pull stuff out, run around, get lost, have tantrums.

Cooper bolts out the door and promptly stops to smell the mailbox. He then eats a few grass blades from the neighbor's yard. There are some flowers down the street he simply must mark. Because he is young dog, and because I have seen his crazy morning excitement, Cooper runs on a leash that extends and retracts. This works best for both of us: I don't have to wait for him and he doesn't have to wait for me. We are always connected.

That's the idea behind a leash. It keeps two parties connected. One of them must hold the leash, keep it stable, make sure the other end doesn't get wrapped around a pole or run off unhindered. The leash holder must know the path, must know when to spur the other on, must know when to stop and wait for the "leashee" to smell that pretty flower or chase that taunting bunny.

This morning as I ran with Cooper I was reminded that as Christians, God gives us a pretty long leash. I don't want to get to literal or too wildly metaphoric about it, but it's true. It's easy for me to get distracted by the next new thing, or what those people over there are doing. I want to go check it out, see what they're up to.

At the end of the day, I'm still on that leash. And I'm cool with that. It's a guide, it's a comfort, it's an anchor that tells me where home is, and that I'm safe, that I'm headed in the right direction. And it's always there. All I have to do is turn around.

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