I’m Ken Jones, and this is A Classic State of Mind, with A Word About … Puppies

I’ve noticed something about myself, lately.

I don’t like what I’ve noticed, but I’m not sure there’s much I can do about it.

I’m a lot more like our new puppy than I would like to be.

Oh, she’s cute, and adventuresome, and inquisitive.

She’s learning her name.

Most of the time, she ‘comes’ when she’s called.

She does pretty good with “Sit.”

We’re working on “Stay Down!” too.

She doesn’t have all of that ‘stay down’ command perfect, yet, of course.

She’s just a puppy. But … she’s learning.

I know. I’m a lot like that, too, in so many ways.

I’m not very cute, of course. But I’d like to think I’m adventuresome, and in terms of being inquisitive, for sure I’ve got my share of things that make me question and wonder about life. And, like our new puppy, I’m not the best at sitting, waiting. Patience and waiting have always been difficult for me to learn. I guess I should extend more ‘grace’ to Maggie the pup, and the fact that she’s not very patient, since I’m not very good at that, myself.

But those things are not as troublesome to me as one other challenge our new puppy has to deal with. It’s her … attention span.

She and I have a ritual, a daily routine that we have established. Every morning, after I wake and dress, I walk to her crate and open the door so she can join me. After a brief wag of tails and licking of hands, she and I walk to front door, I open it, and together we launch into a new day.

Bathroom comes first. Always first. And then, the jumping and running from one thing to the next. If there’s a stick along her path, she grabs it, and carries it until she notices something else  — a piece of paper, or a leaf that’s blown across the lawn, or a rose on one of my wife’s  bushes that our puppy decides needs to be chewed off. No seeming agenda. No ‘final destination.’ Just running, and loping along, from one thing to the next.

She’s got an attention span of less than ten seconds. She notices me. She walks alongside me, or behind me, or in front of me. But her thoughts are not on me. She’s totally preoccupied with the next ‘thing’ on the horizon of her life.

I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on her for not having a more mature way of taking a walk. She’s just a puppy.

But me? I’m not a spring chicken. And the last thing I need is to be running from one thing to the next, without paying attention to The One Leading The Way. No excuse. No one to blame. Maturity comes as I learn what it means to sit, to stay.

The Book says, “In God’s presence, there is fullness of joy …” I’m a lot more like my puppy than I’d like to admit. And for certain … I’ve got a lot to learn about ‘noticing’ God along my daily path, and truly watching Him, listening for Him, paying attention to Him, yes, even obeying Him.

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