Yesterday it snowed, and by nightfall we had about 8 inches. After Hubby used his snow blower on the driveway, he blew a narrow path for Jack the Dog to follow to the back of the yard so he could do his business.
. . .Fast forward to late this afternoon. It was “time to go poo,” which Jack does every day at this time. I figured he’d follow the blown path to the back of the yard. I stood on the deck (in 8 degrees) and watched Jack pee on the nearest bush. Then he headed straight back to the deck where I waited.
“Go, Jack!” I said, waving my hands like an idiot. “Go Poo!” (Yes, he knows what this means.)
He looked at me like, you’re kidding, right?
Keep in mind that we’ve been going outside at this time for at least three years. We know what we’re supposed to do.
“Go poo!” I repeated.
He took off, but not down the path Hubby had so carefully made. Instead, Jack headed to some trees along the fence line and followed them, stopping every few feet to stare at me.
“GO!” I yelled, wondering if our neighbors could hear me.
When he finally reached the back of the yard, he still didn’t follow the path. He followed the fence line where the snow was much higher. Then he stopped and stared at me. That’s when I realized that his regular poo place was covered up with snow. Hubby hadn’t blown the snow there.
By this time, I was feeling the cold, but I trudged out in the yard until I came within several feet of him. He was confused and uncomfortable. I had to get up close and personal to encourage him to do what he needed to do.
“Go Poo.” I pointed my finger like the ghost of Christmas Past.
He ran back and forth along the fence and stopped to stare at me again. He wanted his regular poo place and nothing else would do.
“Go Poo,” I said again.
Once again, he ran back and forth along the fence and stopped.
We repeated this maybe ten times until Jack couldn't hold it anymore. He went poo. Finally. Oh happy day! I could go inside and thaw my cheeks.
I praised him and walked straight back to the house. He didn’t follow me -- or the path. He kept trying to find another way. Near the fence. Around the trees. Anywhere but the path.
When he finally reached the house, he was shivering, so I carried him down to the family room and we sat in front of the pellet stove to warm up. Silly little dog.
As usual, Jack’s actions were a spiritual metaphor. The path Hubby had made for Jack wasn’t what he was used to. It didn’t cover the same ground and didn’t lead to his usual poo place. So instead of following the path, Jack wandered through deep snow, trying to find the old place, following his old habit.
Things would have been so much easier if he’d just followed the path.
How many of us are like that when God reveals a new plan for us? Something that takes us a direction we’re not familiar with. We’re like Jack. You’re kidding, right God? We want the old because it’s familiar. Comfortable. We wander off, insisting that the old is better. Then we find ourselves, like Jack, lost in a snowbank of confusion.
The LORD says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8 NLT).
Lord, please help me always follow the path You’ve set for me, even if it’s not comfortable or familiar.