Maggie bolted out the door this morning when I went to sit on the deck for my quiet time. She loves laying in the cool morning grass.
When she was a puppy, I had to be vigilant about watching her because she would take off chasing a squirrel and end up three blocks away. Or worse, she would (re) discover the stream and splash up and down it becoming a muddy mess.
Now, she’s much more mature and self-controlled. She runs out, lays down in the grass, and waits. I’m never quite sure what she’s waiting for, and I can’t break myself of the habit of being vigilant over her. So I sit on the deck and watch her while she waits in the grass.
I read and pray and watch her. And she waits.
This morning Maggie suddenly perked up her ears, and her head, and her whole body, alert to a visitor in our yard. Off in the distance, under an old apple tree, a wild rabbit hopped, lippity-lippity, along. It was also enjoying the dewy early morning grass.
Maggie, at the very least, would have loved chasing the rabbit. The rabbit seemed oblivious to its danger. It nibbled the grass and hopped around the apple tree.
Maggie, tethered only by her own self control, watched its every move.
And so the little non-drama played out for a good half hour. Maggie was a good dog. Though she watched, she never made any move to chase. She showed the same self-control that I’m attempting to exercise around sweets these days.
The rabbit, though, the rabbit fascinated me. Unaware of any danger, so engrossed in its little patch of clover and the few green apples that had fallen, it didn’t seem to see the dog watching its every move.
And I got to thinking, how often am I like that rabbit? I lippity-lip along in my own little world, unaware of those who want nothing more than to destroy me, or, at the very least, make me run for my life.
But therein lies a bigger truth.
Maggie can run fast. When our neighbor got a Doberman, we were very happy to discover that Maggie can outrun the Doberman. Not that we want her to have to do that. It’s just nice to know that she can.
Still Maggie could not have closed the distance between herself and the rabbit fast enough to catch the rabbit. So, in fact, what looked like a dangerous situation for the rabbit really wasn’t dangerous at all.
And I think that is true for me as well.
Sometimes I see the scary monster and am immobilized by fear.
But God is always watching, and He has equipped me for whatever comes.
Perhaps I misjudged that rabbit, too. It wasn’t quite as heedless as I thought. As soon as Maggie rose to her feet to join me in the house, the rabbit scampered to the safety of the brush.
For a good half hour, though, it had enjoyed the coolness of the early morning in spite of the presence of a predator. It didn’t live in fear.
I, too, have nothing to fear.