Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for. But that afternoon I wasn’t feeling too thankful. My parents were grumpily pushing everyone to “clean up this house!” It’s funny how planning for company coming makes you so grumpy that by the time they arrive you just want to go take a nap.
Anyway, to avoid the holiday grumpiness I took a walk with our curly little dog, Joy. She lives up to her name in all but her smell. So, as I walked Joy through the neighborhood streets lined with gorgeous fall leaves, I felt freedom. Exhale. Finally. But I noticed my curly companion wasn’t feeling so free. Now don’t get me wrong, she was having a great time trying to smell every smell in a ten foot radius, but she had a problem. She was on a leash. That little ball of fur kept pulling hard against that leash. And every time she did she felt the pain of the leash choking her stinky little neck. She wasn’t content sniffing the leaves and things in our path, she wanted to go her own way and it hurt. I thought back on the times that I took her walking with my toddler. I tied Joy’s leash to the stroller and Joy happily walked alongside us, not pulling on the leash at all. She went peacefully along, wagging that stumpy tail. She was content and unhurt because she accepted her boundaries.
I realized how much I am like her. God has placed me where I am right now, and this is where I’m supposed to be. But how often do I refuse to accept it and long for the “freedom” of my own way? When I go off on my own, trying to do things my way, I end up feeling the misery of the leash. The pain and disappointment of moving in a direction that I’m not supposed to go. I am so much happier, full of “Joy”, when I stay by His side focused on His plan for me. How many times pulling at the leash will it take for me to realize that? I didn’t have Joy on a leash today because I wanted to ruin her life. I wanted her to have the best walk possible, without getting hit by a car! In the same way, God knows what’s best for me, and it’s only when I walk in that way that I will find his joy.