Every time I walk in my house, I’m greeted by the same scene: three happy, jumping, twirling, joyful dogs. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone 10 minutes or 10 days. If I’ve had the best day of my life or the worst. If I’m wearing dirty jeans and a t-shirt or my best suit. They are thrilled to see me.
It’s one of the many reasons I love dogs. And their ability to lose themselves in the moment is something I envy.
Some of our dogs have had difficult lives. They’ve been mistreated and abused. Neglected and harmed. Starved of food and human compassion.
Yet they have the ability to move past that history and live wholly in the present. Full of joy and completely at peace.
I often wonder how they do it. Because peace and joy are elusive for me despite my constant prayers for them.
Sometimes I have trouble letting go of the challenges and difficulties of everyday life. Sometimes old hurts will crop up, or painful reminders of the past. And sometimes the pain and suffering of those around me will cause me to doubt that we have a God who loves us.
We live in a world that can be scary. Where people we love get sick and planes fall out of the sky. Where relationships end and jobs are lost. Where people and animals are abused. Where bad things happen to good people.
And none of it makes sense.
But in those times, I am reminded that I do have a God who loves me. He is the One who has provided the family who loves me. The friends who cheer me. The church that encourages me. The creation that awes me. And the dogs that inspire me.
To some these dogs may simply be pets. Household companions. Wagging tails and cute faces.
But for me, my dogs also serve as a source of inspiration. A reminder that no matter my past, present or future circumstances, I can be full of joy and at peace in this moment.
They are a true blessing, and a reminder of God’s love for me.