Today I took our dog, Marley, for a walk. It should be the girls’ duty, but they claim he is impossible to walk with. I kind of agree. Walking with 9-month Marley isn’t always a pleasure. He pulls on his leash like he is a horse trying to pull a carriage. We have one of these training leashes, which means that as he pulls, he almost strangles himself. He can hardly breathe, he is panting and his body is stiff, like a weird-shaped log. But will he slow down? Hardly ever. Unless I have a treat in my hand that he wants more than pulling ahead of me.
I get so tired of the way he is and wonder why he can’t get into his hairy head that he would have such a much better time if he only slowed down a little. Then he has to grab all the garbage that is on the side of the road too. Today he found an empty cigarette box, turquoise with a big warning label on it that read: Smoking kills. He did not look very intelligent as he pulled ahead on his read leash, with an empty cigarette box in his mouth. Then he dropped it and kept sniffing on the ground like he was looking for gold. He noticed nothing around him except the dark ground.
It dawned on me then that I act much like Marley, my dog, myself. I am rushing forward, pulling my leash, almost losing my breath and feeling such an incredible hurry in my body. I am always rushing to somewhere or something, although I don’t know where or what. I felt God speak to me and say: “Oddny, if you too just slowed down a little and walked right next to me, you would feel so much better. Then this walk could be pleasant. And as for the cigarette box Marley has in his mouth: Don’t you too search for a lot of useless stuff that will only kill you and the people around you in the long run. Why don’t you stop looking down, searching for what you can find to carry with you. Look up and around you instead and realize that everything you need is right here, next to me.”
That is what I learned from my walk with God and Marley today.