"I hope you learned your lesson." Countless times we heard this admonition from grown-ups. How many mistakes did a kid have to make until all the lessons were "learned"? As an adult, I've found it is preferable to "learn" through someone else's experience rather than falling into every ditch myself. One unusual place I've discovered this learning curve is literally under my own feet—Dixie. Dixie is Jim's and my seven-pound Yorkshire Terrier. Through her life, God is teaching me a lot about His second book, nature. So here are seven lessons learned via canine wisdom:
1. Begin each day with a positive attitude. Dixie wakes up happy every morning. She anticipates what good things might happen and rejoices in simple experiences—seeing a bird fly by or looking up at us, grateful for her breakfast.
2. Be patient and polite. Dixie understands that sitting quietly and waiting eventually leads to treats and treasures. Barking and running around just leave her tired and troubled with no satisfaction.
3. Nap times are important. Despite all the household activity, company, and stimulation, Dixie will regularly retreat to her own private space and enjoy a short respite. Maybe this is the key to her positive outlook on life!
4. Come when you are called. When the Master calls, good things happen. Dixie enjoys food, rides in the car, and companionship through play. You and I savor spiritual food, journeys to interesting places, and Divine fellowship when we respond to our Lord's bidding.
5. Know when you need a bath. Dixie walks in the shower when she thinks she is dirty, waiting for us to make her feel fresh and clean. You and I know the source of spiritual cleansing, and Jesus will instantly restore us to the joy of our salvation.
6. Enjoy blessings today and don't fret about tomorrow. Sometimes Dixie roams the house with a recently-acquired doggie biscuit, whimpering and whining as she worries about where she might hide this prize possession. There are dozens of lessons in this one, so choose to apply where appropriate!
7. When times are stressful or uncertain, there is safety and refuge in the Master's arms. Whether it is a trip to the veterinarian, the threat of a larger, vicious dog, or the noise of frightening thunder, Dixie knows the comfort and security of Jim's or my arms. She completely trusts us because through experience, she understands that bad things don't happen when she is in our arms. You and I have that same assurance from our Heavenly Master. Whatever pain we may experience, His arms are open to hold and comfort us.
So, there they are—lessons from a little creature.
God bless us every one,