Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Wonder Girls Close the Park

Maggie the Wonder Dog and Mamie the Apprentice Wonder Puppy

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

As an alderwoman in Blue Springs, part of my job is opening and closing the park on my assigned day. Last night, I casually mentioned to the girls that I needed to close the park. "We'll leave at 6:30," I told them. They could not 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's not the park that delights them. (Dogs, even Wonder Dogs, are not welcome in the park.) It's 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.

Lest you think this is dangerous, the Wonder Girls know they are 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. Any journey will do as long as they are 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 are 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

Go ahead. Trust God to meet your needs. Enjoy the day He's given you.  Embrace life with abandon. Stand on tip-toe, stretch as far as you can reach to experience everything God has planned. 

Live with joy for we, too, are held tight in God's no-slip grip.

#livewithabandon #noworry #trust #havefaithinGod