After almost 32 years of marriage, my wife and I adopted a rescue dog a couple weeks ago. I grew up with dogs, but Pam has never been around a dog for any length of time. Still, though, we took the plunge after hosting/fostering this dog for three weekends so he could get acclimated to people in hopes of getting adopted.
I asked to host a young, male, active dog—and that’s exactly who we got . . . with emphasis on “active.” He was high energy and non-stop, but I fell in love with him. He and I hung out together for the weekend, and I did little work. On the day we returned him after the first weekend, my wife cried recurrently. She knew she was going to miss him, but she later told me another, more significant reason she was crying—a reason I’ve not been able to shake: “Chuck,” she said, “I’m also crying because I haven’t seen you so happy and relaxed in a long time.”
She didn’t say it this way, but I suspect she might have also been saying, “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you without a phone or a computer attached to you.”
The dog adoption actually didn’t work out after the first week, but I learned a lesson nevertheless. You see, I’m a workaholic. I can get idolatrous about achieving. There’s always more to do, more to accomplish. I don’t relax or rest well. I’ve even written about these issues in the past (see here), but changing this pattern has proven difficult. And, I had grown so accustomed to it that I didn’t even realize it until a dog captured my heart and refused to let me do much but pay attention to him.
Despite what I’ve realized, I know I’ll continue to wrestle with saying “yes” too quickly and relaxing too infrequently. Still, though, I want to slow down, look around, see God’s work, and pay better attention to the gifts of people He has given me.
I want to close my computer more regularly. I want to be okay with doing nothing. I want to rest more in God’s grace.
Would you say a prayer for me today? And, if you face the same issues and want our Church Answers readers to pray for you, let us know by using the “comments” section below.
Posted on February 28, 2023
Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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I sure will offer a prayer for you.
One of the greatest gifts I received recently was “permission” to purchase a nice digital camera (I think stimulus check #2). Now, I use my camera as an “excuse” to wander around and take pictures of flora and fauna. It is an amazing thing to get in touch with my childlike side and to get away from work.
Thanks for the prayer and the testimony, Les.
Prayers ascending for you Chuck. As I type my ‘Hazel’ Border Collie/Poodle mix is resting while I check email. And in a while she will awaken and say it is time for a break from that thing that has your attention rather than on me!! And she is right…time for lap around the block or a romp outside. They are blessings for sure.
Thanks, Kimberly. You’ve made my day.