Saturday, November 25, 2017

Wonder Dogs, Closing the Park, and Enjoying the Journey

Maggie the Wonder Dog and Mamie the Apprentice Wonder Puppy

The Wonder Dogs are exceptionally smart and have an extensive vocabulary. Like most dogs, they know the typical words such as treat, go, sit and stay. The Wonder Girls know phrases, as well. There were two phrases that used to send them into frenzies of delight. Open the park. Close the park. 

When I was an alderwoman in Blue Springs, part of my job was opening and closing the park on my assigned day. One night, I casually mentioned to the girls that I needed to close the park. "We'll leave at 6:30," I told them. 

They couldn't have been more excited about filet mignon. They ran in circles, panting and racing as fast as they could go. They ran down the stairs and back up. Up and down the hallway. Around and around in my bedroom.

At last, I said, "Okay, do you want to leave now?" 

Yes. They did. Both girls raced to the door, then ran in circles until I could get downstairs. They were pumped. I opened the door and they were out of the house like a clown out of a cannon. Whoosh. They were at the car before I could close the front door.

It wasn't the park that delighted them. (Dogs, even Wonder Dogs, are not welcome in the park.) It was the trip to the park. They love to put their paws on the edge of the window, stretch as far as possible, hang their heads out, and let the wind plaster their ears and fur against their heads. Mouths wide open, heads up, they are in heaven.

It sounds dangerous, but the Wonder Girls know they're safe, because I hold them tight. They can reach as far as they want, because I have them, held tight in a no-slip grip.

They love the journey, and any journey will do as long as they're with me.

As I watched them in a wind-induced ecstasy, I realized they experience the journey with an abandon usually absent in my life. My tendency, like many of us, is to focus on the destination. I keep the goal in sight and head toward it with dogged determination.

I wonder, though, if I might not enjoy my journey through life a bit more if I could experience it with the abandon of the Wonder Girls. 

Perhaps focusing less on the needs of the day and more on the experience of the journey would bring the kind of abandon so common to Maggie and Mamie, as well as the joy.

They don't worry about a thing. They know they can count on me to provide for them. With worry out of the way, they're free to enjoy every minute, every day.

How much more should we, who serve a faithful, generous God, enjoy life? How much more should we focus on the journey, relishing the adventures God allows into our lives, without worry or fear? 

It was Jesus Himself who told us, "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Do not worry then... But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself..." 
                                                                                                         Matthew 6: 25, 31, 33 NASB

Let's trust God to meet our needs. Enjoy the day He's given us.  Embrace life with abandon. Stand on tip-toe, stretch as far as we can reach to experience everything God has planned. 

Let's live with joy for we, too, are held tight in God's no-slip grip.
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: The Black Friday Special that Changed History 



  1. Why do we set that reckless abandon aside when we become adults? Yes the pressure to provide and to, sadly, measure up weighs us down. We do have to keep our eyes on the goal but we need days of rest and reckless abandon to nurture our souls. Thank you for this reminder, Leanna.

  2. Thanks Sherry. I'm overdue for reckless abandon.