We had a Merry Christmas this year. Good times and food with family and friends per usual. The presents were nice and all was well in the Larson home for another year... EXCEPT..
Our dogs were on the naughty list this year AGAIN. Our dog Baylie on Christmas Eve ate a birthday cake for Jesus. On Christmas morning our dog Pepper ate a whole box of color crayons, and is sure to leave a rainbow of little crayon deposits in our back yard. Then later on Christmas day we find Baylie eating a snowman candle. ARGHH!
A couple other Christmas memories I have shared before was Baylie as a puppy getting shocked by chewing the Christmas lights and also making one of our Nativity sets her chew toy.. God was NOT amused.
Now please do not call PETA claiming we do not feed our pets, because this is simply not true. I could send you pictures that verify they are not starving. They are not starving they are simply naughty. <pause> More accurately they are simply being dogs, and do not aspire in the New Year to do any better than be dogs. So bottom line is they simply did NOT get any presents from us this year. Not a rawhide, chew toy or Lassie on DVD.
Hmmm.. now what spiritual lessons can I glean from my naughty dogs? Well I know personally I do not always eat what is good for me, and more importantly I do not always make the right decisions.
Our dogs reside in our fenced yard, but when Baylie was a younger dog she would often dig under the fence and become the prodigal dog who did not return home on her own. We had to catch her. In similar ways I have wandered outside the boundaries declared by God to be safe.
My dogs are also not good to take on walks.. they pull and yelp like they are sled dogs in a race. This is maddening to my wife and I. In parallel I find on my spiritual journey I tend to pull and stray instead of being content with walking peacefully led by my God.
One last important parallel I find between my dogs and myself is that I am blessed beyond my dreams. My dogs have a warm home, are well fed, and are loved even when naughty. The same holds true for me. My whole life I have been blessed with the love and care of my Heavenly Father even in my worst prodigal moments. Both me and my dogs are what I like to call BLESSED BEYOND OUR DREAMS.
My prayer today is that each of you have a relationship with God where you know even if you 'go prodigal' you are blessed beyond your dreams with His love and Patience.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson