Monday, July 18, 2011

The steeper, faster life

When Missy the poodle first came to our place, she could hardly walk a block. Her owners rarely walked her or let her out except for potty. She had never been on a leash. I bet she got the shock of her life to be taken outside every morning. When Spike would need a good run, Missy would sit in the wicker basket and relax... while the terrier stretched his wandering legs.

The Walky-Dog has got to be one of my favorite inventions. Though our dogs are small, they love to run. I'm too old--well, certainly too out of shape--to be running for long. Hence the clamp and post on the seat stem of my Brompton makes both the dogs and me happy.

They love to be leashed onto the coupler, a recycled convention lanyard. "Let's bike!" I call, and they run for the door to wait patiently while I get the bike out. In no time, we're off. They pull me for a few blocks like miniature sled dogs until their initial energy abates a bit.

Do I feel stupid being pulled by a 12 lb. terrier and an 8lb poodle groomed like a Hollywood show dog? Nah. Not a bit. I think it's funny, and I'm glad to have found the quickest way to scoot around our hilly neighborhood for 2-4 miles, especially on a rainy day. We don't go very fast: the dogs run at 7-11 mph and trot at 4-7mph. But... when we get home, the dogs relax and enjoy the rest of the day indoors.

It's especially nice to have a cycling option when I come back from a MWF exercise class that runs 6-7:30am. (Crazy, I know. But who's going to fight for my attention at that time of day? And what books are compelling enough for research at that time of morning?)

I wonder about seasons of our lives when we've been inactive, sitting on the sofa content with being fed, cuddled, and hugged by an appreciative group of friends or family, like our Missy was. Then without warning, our limp muscles are challenged. 

Off we go. Life drags us off the couch, calls us to step up the pace. Every day seems longer and steeper, rather than easier. (You'd think we'd get time off as we get older.) I find myself whining, "Oh please! Give me a break," reluctantly leashed to a new trip around the block.

Like Missy, we get strong quickly with harsh realities from which there is no escape. For some of us, the adventure is prayer and intercession. For others, hard service. For yet others, painful and intense thinking and planning. Along the way we stretch and contract until we can hardly recognize the person in the mirror. Oh, our face and form may look similar, but inside, the stamina and flexibility tells the story of a new creation. 

In case you wonder, Missy can outrun Spike at this point in speed and stamina. Inside the lazy lapdog was a crazy, bouncy runner, just waiting for a challenge.

Read more:

*Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. "Come in with me," she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, "Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment." Proverbs 9:1–6 NLT

*Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 

Then Peter called to him, 'Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.'

'Yes, come,' Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. Matthew 14:22–25, 28–29 NLT

*To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV

No comments:

Post a Comment