Friday, August 25, 2017

When Catastrophe Was Just Barely Avoided

We came a little too close to catastrophe for comfort yesterday. 

Since I'm taking care of Sam at my house, I let the Wonder Dogs wander along beside me when I'm outside. They know their limits and abide by them, most of the time. 

Both of the dogs know that going down the hill by the horses is absolutely forbidden. I don't want to keep them from fun. There are more than enough acres to run and play. That bit of the driveway leads to a busy state highway. The prohibition is for their safety.

Maggie is a recovering runaway. She loves to run and, when she gets started, she loses her mind. All she can think of is the joy of running, so she runs, heedless of what awaits her at the end of her jaunt. 

Most of the time, a quick warning can keep her from heading down the hill. Yesterday, though, she was too fast for her own good.

A neighbor stopped by early to look at a wiggly wheel on the tractor. While we were talking on the porch, the hospice aide arrived. In the confusion of the next few minutes, the dogs greeted everyone, ran around in the yard, and went in the house with the aide. 

Or so I thought. 

The neighbor left and I went back inside. Mamie was by the door, waiting for me, but Maggie was nowhere to be found. I called and searched, as dread built in my heart. Had she run after the neighbor's truck?

Yes. She had.

I jumped in my truck and headed toward the highway. A vehicle was stopped on the side of the road and a woman had gotten out. Maggie was running scared in the opposite direction, the woman heading along behind her. I called her name and Maggie ran to me. 

"I just wanted be sure she didn't hurt," the woman told me.

I thanked her, hugged Maggie, and jumped in the truck, headed for home. My heart was beating hard and fast. I blinked back tears. 

Catastrophe avoided. Just barely.

Since Maggie had clearly proved herself untrustworthy, I made her go out on a leash after that. She'll be leashed for a long time, and she seemed to know that. 

She pouted all day, and I let her.

Last night, Mamie and I headed upstairs. The dogs usually sleep on the foot of my bed, but Maggie curled up on the dog bed in the kitchen instead, still pouting. 

Finally, I called her. "Maggie, aren't you going with us?" She looked up, but didn't move off the bed.

At last, I picked her up and held her close. "Come on, Maggie." She wagged her tail and snuggled in to my shoulder.

I'm ashamed of how like this silly dog I amI hate to think how many times I've been stopped short of a bad decision by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, then held myself aloof from the sweet reunion Our Lord offered. 

Deep gratitude is not always my first response to conviction of sin, but it should be.

God's patience with me is an amazing gift. Even when I don't immediately embrace quiet and the deep prayer time He desires, He continues to draw me back, ready to restore in an instant. 

God never uses a time-out to discipline me. Instead, His conviction and discipline are designed to draw me closer, deeper. 

We have a good Father who loves His children enough to correct when necessary to keep us in close relationship. Today, let's stop long enough to thank Him for the blessing of discipline and the prevenient grace that draws us close. Put pouting aside and snuggle in to the One who loves us most. 

Let's bow our heads. Bend our knees. Draw near to Him, for He waits to draw near to us. 

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." James 4:8 esv
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Caregiver Chronicles: The Rollercoaster of Joy in Obedience 

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