I thought it odd that the word God spelt backwards is dog. Funny the parallels one can draw between these things that do or do not impact our daily lives. God is supposed to love all of us (unconditionally) but we really can’t put a finger on what that is except that we (for some of us) believe that it is so. Strangely every dog that I’ve ever had has been loved and has returned the same in ways that I cannot put a finger on either. One minute I can be playing with the dog and another can be scolding him for tearing up a slipper… and yet he still comes back hoping for a good pat on the back or a rub of the ears with an added lick of my check like nothing bad ever happened… there is unconditional love I can point a finger right at.
Almost every time I’m out hunting… whether it be on the great plains of South Dakota watching tens of thousands of migrating birds in the late fall or watching the last of the leaves drift down from an old oak tree next to my deer stand in the early morning sunrise I can’t help but see a little of something much bigger than any one of us. What makes the leaves so vibrant in the fall, what makes the river flow so effortlessly, what makes a woman so elegant, what makes a butterfly even possible, what makes this rock that we live on hurling around is “space” at thousands of miles an hour so livable… at times I think I should be able to point right at these things and say that there is “God” at work?
I smile every time that I take my dogs out to a field of high grass… for them it a new found freedom that they don’t get enough of I’m sure of that. As they are “Springer’s” they have a habit of leaping above the tip tops of the grass in search of whatever is up there… each time with big smiles on their faces and tongue’s hanging out…almost begging us all to really understand that “life is great!” Recently I had one of my dogs out hunting and towards the end of the day he had a seizure that lasted about 2 minutes… I thought he might be dying at the ripe age of 5… which for those of you who don’t own dogs is at best middle age. After the seizure he was a bit dazed for a couple more minutes and then he turned angry… as in like he had rabies… a vicious snarl, baring of his teeth and barking at me like I was an intruder. Scary for sure… thank “God” he didn’t come after me… because… don’t tell anyone… old fat men can’t jump or run very fast! I was for an instance bewildered as to what I should do… we were out in the middle of nowhere South Dakota… not a house in site… and here I have Jack, my dog getting ready to bite me? I began saying his name… telling him that I’m not going anywhere without you buddy… I sat down (20″ away) and started talking to him… using his name over and over again. Low and behold about 5 minutes later he walked right over to me and sat down next to me. We spent some “quality” time together me really adoring a good friend that I thought I might have lost that afternoon… and I am immensely grateful that he came back to me.
Years ago, I lived in Baldwin Wisconsin. There my parents (made me) go to church… a visit to people I didn’t know… listening to a minister that didn’t speak to me in ways that I could understand. There was one good thing that came out of those visits though… for a period of time I would go to church and then they would take field trips to other kinds of churches. We, as a group, went to synagogues, listened to a Pastor, Minister and Pasters of different churches. It was a very different and interesting way to let the young people in the group have access to the way other people find their “God” that wasn’t judgmental or demeaning. I personally like the atmosphere of a Baptist church… not for any other reason that they usually have a big old black lady belting out the songs like there was no tomorrow! They also tended to have Ministers that will tell you just like it is and they will absolutely put some punch in their presentation… WOW! I do believe!
Well, you are asking, how do I wrap this whole thing together? Well let me start by saying that what I did find interesting about all of the places of worship was that they all were asking questions of how could a God that was supposed to be so good and so great be able to have so many bad things happen in the world at the same time? And I will suggest that perhaps it’s because he is having a seizure and all that we can do is sit down and quietly say his name over and over again assuring him that we will not leave him… no matter what because we know that he / she is not that way. And for some of the lucky few he will walk right on over and sit down beside them and spend some “quality” time together really adoring a good friend that they thought might have lost… and are immensely grateful that he / she came back.