Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Teaching an old dog new tricks....

Humans could learn a few lessons from the life of a dog.  This morning I stopped in the grocery store to grab some contact solution.  As I was coming out of the store I saw people rushing from place to place, probably like me---hurrying to work.  I looked up to see a man and his "best friend" taking a morning stroll in front of the grocery store.  The man had his head down and was really not "strolling", but rather walking briskly.  The dog, however, had other things on his mind.  He was taking in his surroundings......sniffing the scents of the world.....perking his ears to every sound around him....and totally enjoying his time outside on such a beautiful morning.   The minute he saw me, his head turned, and he least that is what it looked like to me.....and in his own way said, "Good morning!".  He really wanted to stop and visit, but his owner was in a hurry.  The dog didn't know me, yet he wasn't overly cautious and shy.  He also didn't keep his head down and keep walking.  I am guilty of that.  Not always.  There are days when I long for smiles and interaction with others and therefore I speak quickly and smile earnestly.  Often I am rushing from point A to point B and don't take time to "sniff" and "listen".  Most dogs have never met a stranger.  They want nothing  more than to spend time with humans and be petted and loved.  Of course, there are a few with some psychological issues.....moody.....stubborn......and high maintenance.  Generally, dogs are friendly.  Like humans, if they have been mistreated and abused they either retreat or lash out in anger and aggression.  The lesson that I seem to learn from dogs is that no matter what they seem to keep coming back to love and be loved.....and most often, they are the initiator of the relationship.  They are the "giver" and we are the "receiver".  Sure, we feed them and offer them shelter, but, even when we aren't as attentive as we should be, they still want to give us attention.  We could really learn a lesson from that attitude.  People in our lives are going to disappoint us, neglect us, treat us unkindly, abuse us, forget about us, ignore us, and yet we should still love others.  The scriptures are very specific in their teachings about loving others.  Nowhere does it say, "Love others if they love you."  Instead, the scriptures say over and over again.....

John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

John 13:35
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves"

Galatians 5:13
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love."

Ephesians 4:2
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."

Hebrews 10:24
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds..."

So, let's lift up our heads and greet one another along the way.  Let's speak to strangers.  Let's smell the beautiful scents around us.  Let's listen to one another without thinking about what we are going to say next. Let's smile at others.   Let's call people we know by name.  Let's stroll, not hurry.  

Let's be man's best friend.  

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