Monday, August 20, 2012
LESSONS FROM A BEAGLE - Yachting
Yes, it's been a very long time, but I have another Marty story.
About a week ago I had the privilege of accompanying Marty on his very first boating excursion!
Call him the original "Salty Dog"!
A little over a year ago, my sons and their dad purchased a sailboat – (I still can't believe the DEAL they got on it…) – and my youngest son decided it was time for Marty to have his inaugural cruise. I love that I was invited along for the ride.
And…for this very important occasion, my son bought Marty his own life preserver. Honestly, I'm not sure that I have ever seen anything cuter than a beagle in a bright orange lifejacket.
Son and I expected Marty to try to take it off, or bite it off – he's sorta notorious for doing that with "clothes" – but no! That dog let us put on his life preserver, and he was so proud. I really think he knew that there was a grand adventure waiting just around the corner…
So, we got on the boat.
Marty sat next to me on the cockpit cushion as we steered out from the dock. I thought to myself, "Wow. This is great. Marty's just going to sit calmly next to me the whole time." Well, he sat for a while anyway. And then his nose took over! C'mon – he's a hound. And that little nose of his was wiggling like a bunny – so busy taking in every smell.
We motored around for about an hour.
Marty was in hound heaven – back and forth, back and forth – smells and sights galore. Once I heard people on another boat say, "Oh, look at that cute dog over on that boat." I smiled, Son smiled – Marty sniffed.
Things were going good, so my son decided to venture out of the harbor just a little bit. There's a jetty that leads out to the big blue Pacific Ocean, and just past the jetty is a buoy. Our plan was to circle that and come back. Just so Marty could see the seals on the buoy…
Well, as we got closer to the end of the jetty, the swells of the ocean began to rock the boat. And Marty changed his tune…
Before I knew it, one wandering beagle had snuggled up right next to me, laid down, and placed his cute little head in my lap.
And that is where he stayed until we were well within the harbor again.
He was unimpressed by the seals, by the way.
The more I pondered this "three hour tour" – the more I learned something.
You know, we're all *boating along* in this big old adventure we call life. And most of the time, it's a smooth harbor cruise.
But then, of course, there are those other times – the patches of rough water, the rocking and rolling of troubling circumstances, the waves of fear…
What do we do in those times?
Well, if you're anything like me, you start flailing your arms around, running back and forth in a panic, and shouting out like those crazy disciples, "LORD! Do you even care that we're going to drown??"
But then a beagle spoke to me.
What did Marty do when the way started getting rough?
He hunkered down.
I'm thinking that that is a very good spiritual lesson. During the rough times in my life, rather than giving in to fear and distraught behavior, I should simply move in close to my Savior. Lay myself down next to Him. Put my head on His lap.
I'm sure Marty was unsettled by the waves – but I don't think he was scared.
I believe that he trusted my son and I to bring him back to safety.
It occurs to me that when Jesus told the storm to be still, He could also have been speaking to the hearts of His followers.
"Peace, be still."
I think so often when I look at the tumultuous waves around me, I just want Jesus to calm them (i.e. – take them away). And very often, He graciously does just that. But, what I think He'd rather do is calm the waves raging within me.
Sometimes when I ask Him to bring tranquility to the *outer stuff,* I'm really asking Him for something less than what He truly desires to give me. I want less anxious circumstances – HE wants to give me peace.
So, the three things that Marty taught me on his maiden voyage?
Know when to tuck in close.
Trust your master.
Wait out the storm.
Thank you, Marty. Thank you, Jesus.
What is your normal reaction to the storms of life?
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"