The Value of a Worthless Dog This was one of those days..... I woke up not feeling well, didn't sleep well, all I could think about were bills, of which there are too many and money, of which there isn't enough. The house is a mess, the car needs cleaning, dishes needing washed, and everything with the world was wrong. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and cry. In fact, I did. My step dog was trying to kick me out of bed and my wife was running around gathering up the clothing that I seem to scatter around the house regardless of how hard I try to put it in its proper place. The washer was rumbling and the dryer was squealing. More things I need to fix. Even when she is busy, she always seems to notice when I feel bad, no matter how well I try to conceal it, this time it wasn't hard to see it. The old expression that some matches were made in heaven must surely be true here. She usually has a knack for getting me to see things in a different light when I'm down or mad. I don't always know how she does it, but it always happens. After listening to me moan and feel sorry for myself, she started playing with my step dog. By necessity I'll have to use her name in order for the rest of this to make sense so I'm going to get it out of the way now so you have a straight face when I get to the serious part. She is a fat black dachshund named Tootsie Roll. Laugh, cry, snicker, roll on the floor if you have to but get it out of your system now. She belonged to my wife (or more precisely my wife belonged to her) when we met so the term step dog I think is appropriate. I made my usual comment about how worthless she was (the dog, not my wife), as was customary and I was ignored, as was customary. "Tootsie Roll has very simple needs" she observed, "all she needs is a little food, a little water, her ears scratched, a warm blanket to crawl under, a soft bed to crawl into, and love." For a few seconds it didn't occur to me that she had given me the way to get through the day, then like a sunrise it was there. All we need to get through is the knowledge that God loves us and the rest will fall into place. It sounds very simple, and it is. Like Tootsie Roll, I'm spoiled. I get all down when I don't see the bills paid, I get down when the house is a mess, when my gas gauge is on empty, when I can't have what some other people have, when I wake up with a headache. But also, like Tootsie Roll, I have more than I need to get by, I just feel too sorry for myself to see it. I have a house, rented, but warm and dry and a place to go for refuge from the world, I usually choose to bring the world in with me or it wouldn't bother me the way it does. My bills are behind, but they always get paid, always. Some way or another the money always is there when needed. God provides what I need, the main problem is that I spend the money on things I don't need. Like Tootsie Roll, I have someone (actually several people) who love me. In at least one way I need to be more like my step dog though: she doesn't worry about where her next meal will be coming from, she doesn't fret about where she will sleep, she just trusts us to provide for her. We all should be that way, we need to trust God and not worry all the time about where it will all come from, how it will all fall together, what will happen to me? Just as Tootsie Roll can't see but big picture, I can't see the big picture either. She knows, when we carry in a big bag of dog food there will be a feast tonight. She knows when the covers are turned down that she will soon be warm and snuggly. I know when I see the check in the mailbox that I'll survive another day, when I have my computer running right and my truck running at all that things will be ok. Like her, I have to trust and not question. My worthless dog suddenly doesn't seem so worthless now, she is many things. She is a friend for my wife. She is a foot warmer. She is a burglar alarm (provided she can hear it from under the covers and provided she doesn't have to get out of bed and deal with it.) She is a teacher, ok, that's stretching it a bit but she is without a doubt a lesson that I was meant to learn. Everything in life is a lesson, if only we see it. Good things, bad things, laughter, tears, everything can teach us about God if only we have the drive and passion to understand it. Well, two lessons in one article, I'm proud of myself. Oh.....whoops... pride.... another lesson, well, that's one for another time.
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