Fence Post of Faith ---Jan. 09

Christmas and New Years is a great time to spend with family and friends, and reflect on the past year. Christmas morning all my kids left for the in-laws and the house was to quiet, so we decided to go to the movie theater and watch the movie “Marley and Me”. It’s a story of a family and a lab named Marley.  I reckon everyone in the horse or cattle industry could tell a story or two of a dog they owned. They are called man’s best friend. I remember  a friend growing up that had a blue heeler  named Tucker,  we  left him in the truck with it running on a cold winter day, while we went in to the sale barn café to eat dinner, we came out to find that he had manage to chew thru the dash of his 1975 international pickup! I looked up amazed at my friend, and all he could say was that he must have found that rattle in the fan motor.  Tucker rode in the back on our way to the farm….

An unknown author once wrote, “My goal in life is to be as good as my dog as my dog thinks I am.” This person certainly sets a high standard. You see, cynics will claim we love dogs because they cannot speak…or criticize.  I believe, however, we love dogs because they represent the best in us: enthusiasm, creativity and unselfishness. In fact, we can learn much from the dogs in our lives. When we fall short or lose  our way, maybe we should turn to our four-legged friends for inspiration. They can help us remember four qualities that can be so easily lost.

LOVE OF LIFE

Imagine waking up to a world filled with endless possibilities. Your sense tingles with every motion, scent and sound. You devote each day to indulging your natural curiosities, exploring and playing. Unrealistic Sure, but consider the Alternative.  Imagine your life driven by lost cattle, loose horses, cats, lonely trips to the feed store, late nights running from rodeos to rodeos. If that’s you, it might be time to reaccess. Think about your day without your faithful dog?  To dogs, each day is an adventure, unburden by the clock or personal baggage. Their world is a stage, where they are free to act out their daydreams—or just make hams of themselves. They remain inquisitive, intuitively knowing what is lost when that sense of wonder passes. Maybe it’s this outlook—that a dog’s instinct is to not take life so seriously—that’s really missing from your work life.

FORGIVENESS

It has been said that dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails, not their tongues. Certainly, dogs have mastered the most difficult discipline: Forgiveness. Perhaps we could benefit from seeing the world from a dog’s point of view. In our human lives it is easy to remember the wrongs and hold grudges. Our missteps teach us to use caution and build walls. But does this really help us connect to those around us? Dogs boil relationships down to their basic level. They don’t judge, blame or dwell. Instead, they accept us for who we are… and hope for the same. Dogs hold short memories and express love without reservation or conditions.

GENUINENESS

With dogs, what you see is what you get. They aren’t self-conscious and don’t hide anything       (except bones). Their exuberance, from their bouncy step to their eager bark, is instinctive.They are stubbornly faithful, often protective, to the end. Dogs are comfortable with who they are.  They never miss a chance to make a friend.

ATTENTIVENESS

There’s nothing better than coming home to your dog. No matter how bad your day went, your dog will still dash out, eyes twinkling, tongue and tail wagging. Win or lose, your dog is your biggest fan. He craves your company. He hangs on your every word. You are the highlight of his day and center of his world. Dogs aim to please their owners. They always leave their audience wanting more, they nerve get tired of retrieving that stick you threw. Even more, dogs can detect subtle shifts in our mood swings. They may even seem to sympathize with us on some level. It isn’t surprising then that so many people talk to their dogs. They are there; they pay attention even though they cannot understand.

When you really think about what I have wrote about dogs. Our relationship with God is similar to what your dog wants from life!  God wants to be the center of your life, every time we break, he mends us, and God is there when we go to sleep and when we awake.  He will never abandon us when times get tuff in life. He will be at your side thru every mile we travel, thick or thin.  All we have to do is retrieve the love and grace he has given us thru his son and our savior Jesus Christ. If you don’t believe me, maybe just ask your dog?

In closing, if anyone has a faith story to share, email me at “jk_metcalf@hotmail.com”, I would love to hear how God is working in your life. Be sure to check Renea’s barrel racing schedule for 2009. Let’s keep supportting “barrel bash”, it’s the Best in the Midwest. Thanks Renea. See you at the BBR in Oklahoma City.

Adios Jeff Metcalf