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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday message and pictures

So this morning I strapped on my little radio, my camera, and my dog and went out for a walk.  Chuck Swindoll was asking if I was an "active" or "passive" listener- whether I listened with the intent to apply what I heard, or just getting my heavenly S&H green stamps.  At first, I said, "Well, I wouldn't have took the radio with me unless..."

And then it came to me- I'm a Scrappy listener.

You see, if Scrappy was well-trained and well-behaved, walks would look like this:
The dog would patiently wait for me to be ready to go.
The dog would use just the leash I give him, not pulling.
The dog would follow my line, not turning left or right.
The dog would wait until an appropriate time to do his duty.
The dog would not be distracted by things to sniff, or people or dogs or ground hogs going by.
The dog would remember places we've been, and how I like to negotiate them.
And when I said it was time for a break, he'd patiently sit at my feet until I was ready to move on.

And a disciplined Christian should be much the same:
He should wait until God led him to move.
He should stay within the bounds God set up for him.
He should walk Christ's walk, not turning to the left or right.
He should strive to not cause situations that God needs to clean up.
He should be able, with God's help, to fend off the world's distractions.
He should learn from the past how God wants things done.
And when God says, "Chill", he should back off.

Now, Scrappy, while a very good boy, is not a very disciplined boy:
If you wonder how patient Scrappy is at walk time, Youtube a clip of Cheetah the Chimp from the old Tarzan show. 
While Scrappy's pulling varies, it's a general rule that the first ten minutes of any walk is a jerk-fest.
Most of that pulling being to one side or the other, sometimes dropping behind, and wrapping me up when he returns.
Scrappy's pretty good at waiting when he can for an out-of-the-way area to do his thing; but he ain't perfect.  Thus, there's always a "doggie bag" in my pocket.
Scrappy gives new meaning to the term "easily distracted".  His favorite being scents that were left an hour or so back, with him following in the opposite direction the animal went.
Scrappy is really good at knowing where to turn on a certain path.  But he's also pretty good at ignoring that when he has a mind (or nose) to.
And when I stop to take a break, even if it's 95 degrees and he's exhausted, he whines about stopping.

Which of course brings you to me:
My brain is in constant motion.  Listening takes more concentration than it should.
Pushing the limit?  Yeah, mainly in the realm of temper, though far from exclusively.
Veering left or right? Yep, until the leash of conscience brings me back.
Scrappy probably has me beat where "mess-making" is concerned.  I'm a veteran rationalizer, and can slip through the smallest crack in "the blame game".
Easily distracted?  Poster-child material.
Chris  is really good at knowing where to turn on a certain path. But he's also pretty good at ignoring that when he has a mind (or nose) to.
And slamming on the brakes is anethema to someone whose formative years were spent with a father whose family elevated the art of senseless argument to a spectator sport, complete with gambling lines.

So does that make me an "active" or a "passive"?  Only God knows for sure.  All I know is, while Scrappy is my bestest bosom buddy, there are times that I want to (and do) root him right in the butt.  I'm pretty sure God feels the same way about me.


This morning's walk was all about the stuff we just missed.  A deer running around for no apparent reason on the west soccer field.  #1 fox casually walking down the new trail and into the undergrowth right in front of us (Scrappy was off to the right, sniffing something else).  His mate at the other end of the back trail, standing so straight-still- not even moving when a mouse ran twenty feet in front of it- that I was convinced it was just a stick until she scampered into the woods.  What does that leave for today?



And the pond at the IPFW Alumni Center, which we hadn't visited since it was a glorified mudhole a couple years back.

That is not a heron.  That is a "scare-heron", meant I assume to keep the real things from eating all their fish and frogs.


  1. While I desire to be an active listener, I find myself setting my planned actions aside as I get caught up in the busyness of life.

    One of the reasons for uncluttering, less stuff on my shoulders.

    Really glad you posted this and the pics too.

  2. Great application about listening!
    Looks like a great walk!

  3. I can relate to this all too well, and yet I get annoyed with my dog for acting like a dog when he's on his leash. And here I do the same thing.

  4. I am no longer a listener at all :( Somewhere, along the line, I overloaded, and now unfortunately, I seem to have selective hearing... ugh!