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Dogwalking and faith go hand-in-hand. Wait. What?

May 8, 2011

I had the special priviledge the other day of dogsitting. It’s like babysitting. Enjoy the dog’s presence (or baby’s) as much as possible for a short time them hand them back over to their owners.

I’m leaving for Cameroon tomorrow with my colleague Jessica and 10 Wycliffe interns for 7 weeks. Tomorrow. That’s crazy!

Picture this, I’m dogwalking in a city I don’t know with a phone that will soon die. A phone with my last lifelife – the address of where I’m staying and a map  to tell me how to get there. And yet somehow because of the urgent timeline of Cameroon, I felt these details were trivial. Time is quickly ticking away, and with time seemingly on my hands while dogwalking, I decided to call a few people to tell them good bye before my trip.

It was a nice enjoyable walk. We took the time to stop, sniff the many things around us and proceed to mark them with our presence. Or rather, the dog did, while I talked. 😉 We wandered up and down streets, through the park running at times, walking at others, yet we were often at a standstill. While talking to my friend AD, we had just begun to think about heading home. AD asked me an important question about what was going on with me. Yet her timing was impeccable. At the same moment, the dog (who shall remain nameless) and I noticed something across the park. A HUGE bunny!!

What do you think happened?! A chase. The dog after the bunny, with me in tow behind her, all the while trying to portray the situation to my friend on the phone! Oh, how I wish I had a picture for you.  I frantically informed AD (I was probably yelling in her ear) of the situation….

Me: I can’t answer your question right now!!! Iiiiii’mmmmm dooogwalking!!!!! She’s (we’re) chasing a HUGE Bunny! (her response?)

AD: You WOULD be walking a dog in a different province, and be talking to me at the same time.

Me: (insert a very out of breath response due to chasing after dog who’s chasing bunny who’s quickly losing us because of my speed) No wait, it’s not a HUGE buuunny!!!!!! It looks like a baby goat! It’s bounding! Wait, it’s up on two feet like a bunny! It’s a HUGE bunny! No, now it’s leaping again like a goat! It’s legs are super long! It has to be a goat! A baby one. What animal IS this?!? (I was a bit confused, as I was also quite sure there aren’t anymore animals to be discovered)

AD: Oh, Sarah.

She (the dog) soon lost interest, due to the gathering distance between us and the HUGE bunny-lamb-baby-goat-like thing (whatever it was). We continued heading home. Later that evening her (the dog’s) family returned home, and I informed them of some of our adventures. Including the HUGE bunny-lamb-goat-like adventure. I was told, oooohhhh. that was probably a Jack rabbit. Wait, what? Are you sure? It was HUGE! – Yep. They get pretty big around here. – Wow. I had no idea.

The dog wanted the Jack Rabbit.
I didn’t want to loose the dog and have to tell her owners I’d lost their prize possession.
So I chased after the dog like I wanted the Jack Rabbit too.

I wonder how often in life I do this too? I see something from a distance that I know I want. I must have it. A shirt, shoes, a character trait, a specific kind of answer to a prayer. What ever it is at the time, something I want so badly that I’m willing to chase after it. Pursue. Run. Get out of breath. Delay conversations or other important things I was in midst of. Only to realize later on that what I thought I wanted, was something else all together. What prevented me from knowing what I was chasing? 1) I physically wasn’t able to run fast enough to see, 2) I was far enough away that my eyes seemed to be playing tricks on me, & 3) I didn’t have the knowledge and hadn’t done my homework about what I was chasing.

This is all “well and good” when I’m just talking about chasing Jack Rabbits, but when I think about my faith, it’s a totally different story. Or should be. How much of the time do I pursue something I am unable to reach because of my lack of preparation? How often do I chase things that I know I want, only to later find out, it wasn’t what I wanted (or should want) at all? How often does my lack of good vision fail me? Or rather I find out my eyes needed adjusting all along? How often do I pursue something before doing my research to know what it even was that I seemingly am so desperate to pursue?

Sadly, I don’t have all the answers for you. But these are questions I need to personally explore and work through a bit more.  Have you ever let preparation, foggy vision, friends (or other acquantances) shape the things you pursue? What should we do to ensure we are pursuing the right things? Or to know when we are pursuing the wrong things?

PS. I made it home fine after the walk with a little battery juice still left to help guide me!

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