Friday, October 22, 2010

Brat the Wonder Dog

I have an adorable dog.


His name is Brat. You pronounce it Brought. It's actually short for Bratwurst. I think the logic behind naming him was that he looked like a short, condensed version of a wienie dog (Dauchshund). My kids named him. What can I say?

Anyway, he does this weird thing.

He gets really excited when I give him attention. He wags his tail. He wags it hard enough that his behind shifts back and forth as he does. That's all good and fine. He's actually a really smart dog, so he seems to know when he is doing something he isn't supposed to be. Like, well, I don't know, hiding a pair of socks in his jowls.

So this morning, he was thrilled to see I was up early and started making his way over to me to get a little rub behind the ears. And yes, he was wagging his silly tail. But, oddly enough, at the same time, his head was down, he was avoiding eye contact, and he was acting very timid.

Can you guess why? Yep. He had something in his mouth he wasn't supposed to.

I shook my head and took it away. I gently scolded him, then pet his head. This dog loves me. He doesn't want me to be mad at him. And honestly, I would rather him act this way than to hide from me when he has done something wrong.

It struck me this morning that this is the way I sometimes approach God. I love Him. I want to come to Him, to be loved and accepted, to find companionship and to adore Him. But, hmm. Sometimes I have done something I know aint so good. Sometimes I am timid, with my head down, half expecting to get a swift whack upside the head rather than gentle, loving words of correction and accpetance.

Incidentally, I am not in the habit of hitting my dog.

His training is still ongoing, but all in all, he's a great dog. He tries pretty hard to please us. He loves us and he tolerates our bazillion children even when the littler ones try to ride him or suck on his ears and he cleans up the food they drop from the kitchen table. I have to admit, the thing that I love the most about this silly mut is that he is willing to risk getting dragged back into the house on occasion in order to possibly get to ride with us in the car where ever we go. It is pretty stinkin hilarious to watch a part sharpei, part basset hound run with all his might and LEAP (if that word can be used to describe what he does) into our 15 passenger van. And any time my husband gets out of the car, say to run in to the store for a moment and pick something up, he jumps up into his seat, looks tentatively out the window, and alternately barks at strangers and whines for my husband to come back.

The thing is, God loves us a whole lot more than I love my silly dog. He has favorite things about each one of us. Maybe He even finds some of our quirks endearing. And I have a sneaking suspicion that He really likes when we come to Him. Even when we've blown it. Again. I tend to think He gets pretty happy to see us try so hard to please Him, or want so much to be with Him.

And I kind of doubt He will reward our coming with a swift whack.

Actually, I think He wants to give us good things.

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