This is the third post in a series on life through the eyes of a wiener-dog owner
Posted: February 24, 2011
I was walking Boomer a few days ago. You see, I have one of those fancy retractable leashes so that I can keep him right beside me, or I can let him have more leash to explore (or use the bathroom further away from me). At any rate, I was keeping him close beside me – mastering the walk for you Dog Whisperer watchers. Well, he was straining for more freedom, as well as pulling my arm out of socket, so I let him have a little more leash (don’t tell Cesar). Well, predictably, he pulled just as hard on the leash after I had let more out. It was as if the thing he really wanted was just beyond his reach. The cycle repeated until I finally just let the leash all the way out, figuring that would give him plenty of slack… and give my arm a break. How many of you already know what happened next? Yeah, he pulled just as hard at the end of that length of leash. That started me thinking about how the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence and how we are never satisfied, and that we all need a trip to Africa to realize how good we have it. All that is true, but… I realized that I am the chief among leash-pullers (apologies to the Apostle Paul for the plagiarism). I realized that I want to be surrounded by leash-pullers. Things change because of leash-pullers who aren’t satisfied. Walt Disney was a leash-puller. He said things like “it’s kind of fun to do the impossible,” and “if you can dream it, you can do it.” Actually, there is another dog in our neighborhood that figures in this story. His name is Rugby, and Rugby lives in a fence. He can’t help that, but here’s the thing: he has become resigned to his fate. When I walk Boomer by, he gives us a couple of barks and just sits there… satisfied. The yard is the sum total of his world. Debbie use to have a beagle named Barney. Now, if you are familiar with beagles, you know that no fence can hold them. They are the Harry Houdinis of the dog world. When Jesus came to Earth and looked for His team, he could have picked the Scribes and Pharisees – the Rugbys of His day. They were resigned to the religious dogma (pardon the pun) and restrictions of their day. They probably would have been easier to control. They wouldn’t have wanted to call down fire out of Heaven to burn up villages or cut off people’s ears with swords. Yet He picked the Barneys and Boomers: Peter, who wielded his sword in Gethsemane, jumped out of perfectly good boats, and had a foot-shaped mouth. He picked James and John, who were nicknamed “Sons of Thunder.” They are the ones who wanted to burn up villages and sit on His right and left. He picked a guy named Simon, the Zealot. I don’t know much about this Simon’s life, but you don’t get nicknamed “the Zealot” for walking nicely at the end of the leash. He even picked a suspected thief (Matthew) and a proven one (Judas). Yet, when these guys bought in, they made revelatory statements like, “thou art the Christ…,” walked on water, and stood with Jesus while He wrecked the temple. Eventually some of them were crucified, boiled in oil, jailed and scourged repeatedly, and even saw Heaven from a rocky island in the Mediterranean. Do you think fence dwellers would have gone that far? I doubt it. Great things are often built by great malcontents. Look at our nation: America was started by people who just couldn’t take the status quo any longer. In fact, Georgia was actually a bunch of criminals (some things haven’t changed much, have they? TEASING!). In fact, the entry criteria for our country are carved on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. It hardly asks for bluebloods and aristocrats. It says, “give me your tired, your poor…” In fact, listen to the poem by Emma Lazarus from which the quote is taken: “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. ”Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” (Emphasis mine)
So, though our services and rehearsals sometimes resemble controlled chaos, that’s fine with me… didn’t Jesus have to break up an argument in the upper room before He could wash their feet? Though our band may, at times, resemble that jailbird colony in Georgia, I am right at home. I love every leash-pulling one of you… opinions and all; and I’ve seen the greatness that resides in our group, because of your striving for more.
Let me leave you with one last Walt Disney quote: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”