In junior high, my family had a dog named Bingo. He was a German Shepherd/Chow/Dingo mix, and he loved to go on walks. The only problem was, he didn’t know how to enjoy walks.
That, or maybe we just had different ideas of what it meant to take a walk.
When I see people walking their dogs in the park or around the neighborhood, I normally see a leisurely stroll with the dog looking around, stopping every so often to sniff or stare menacingly at a squirrel. There is slack in the leash, and the human can enjoy the weather while the dog walks by his or her side. This is what I wanted with a dog. Bingo was a different story, though – all he wanted to do was run (in any and every direction, it seemed).
It was almost no fun to take him on walks. He would continually lunge and yank at the leash, choking himself and wearing out my arm. Once, I let him drag me through the yard – on my stomach, I believe – before I let go, simply because I didn’t have the willpower to try to hold him back any more. I attempted to explain to him that, if he would only walk beside me, he would not be coughing and wheezing the entire time. He didn’t seem to care that I was trying to help make things easier on him – he just wanted to go and I was slowing him down.
Sometimes, though, I think I do the same thing with life.
Actually, I know I do, because I find myself stressed and choking and going crazy because I don’t seem to be where I think I should be getting. At least, not as quickly as I want to get there.
Lately, I have been so anxious to move forward and find out what’s next. I feel antsy waiting for confirmation from the Lord, and even more anxious for what change might look like. I am so ready to be there and figure it out that I get easily stressed when I look at timelines. I don’t want things to take that long. So I start lunging forward, worrying about the future and choking on “what if” statements. All the while, I think it is helping me get somewhere – but when you are walking a dog, he can only get somewhere as fast as you are walking, no matter how hard he pulls.
The other morning, I was confessing this to the Lord, and I felt like he was telling me to simply walk with him – and enjoy the walk. To walk by his side, trusting where He is going and the pace He is setting. I just have to believe that His way is better, and His timing will be perfect.
Otherwise, I am gonna end up coughing and straining yet no where closer to my destination than the speed God is moving. And I know I will enjoy the adventure so much more if I slow down and walk with Him.