Amanda was thinking about her doctorate project as she saw Simeon jump on a smaller dog in the dog park. She had been in the house at her computer for basicallly 48 straight hours, except for sleeping and the sporadic excuse to take Simeon down here.
"Simmy! Get over here! Come here!" He didn't listen. Amanda rushed over and pulled him off by the collar as the other owner called her dog who ran over to her. Amanda launched Simeon in a direction away from other dogs and sighed. Simeon never listened. She couldn't trust him to do anything she wanted him to.
She saw her neighbor from her apartment across the hall. She was a single mother always dealing with something, now apparently pulling burrs from her shaggy dog while her dirty toddler cried. Amanda turned away to avoid talking or helping.
Amanda just didn't have the energy today. She was mad at her advisor and was composing an accusatory email in her head. She knew she shouldn't send it but she liked crafting the exacting phrases and imagining his defenseless response.
Simeon was now chewing on the one tree in the dog park. "Simeon! No! No! Don't chew that!" She rushed over again and before she could reach him he saw her coming and ran towards another dog with teeth blazing.
The owner saw Simeon coming and called with a quick, "Come!" His dog immediately turned and ran to his side. The dog had on a vest that said: "Seeing Eye Dog -- In Training."
Simeon skid to a stop when he saw the tall dark man beside his dog, which was now sitting properly at his side. Eventually Simeon plopped down, panting until Amanda could barely grab him by the collar.
She looked at the man with the obedient dog. He smiled at her, and she smiled back. He was neatly dressed in a button up and both he and the dog were well groomed. He continued a conversation he was having on the phone.
Amanda knelt down to put the leash back on Simeon, listening to the man's conversation.
"Oh no! Any word when the power will come back on?" The dogs panted. "I can bring you groceries and a phone charger right now. Nah, my boss trusts me so they give me a pretty long leash. I'm on his speed dial if he needs anything."
Just then Amanda heard Trowzers barking. That was the mutt notorious for starting fights in the dog park. Everyone in the park cummulatively groaned. She looked up and saw his owner, a carefree, heavily-made-up blonde open the gate. She was talking carefreely on the phone like usual and it was obvious she wouldn't watch her dog.
As soon as Trowzers was released and saw Amanda's neighbor's little toddler girl on the ground trying to help her mom get the burrs out, Trowzers ran for her. The whole park gasped. Amanda heard the fingers of the man behind her snap. She glanced up and he was pointing at Trowzers. His dog had already launched and was sprinting at Trowzers. By the time Amanda glanced back around the man's dog had knocked Trowzers over and had him pinned by the neck.
Quickly the Trowzers' owner caught up and snapped the leash onto him as the other people came around and scolded her.
Eventually the man's dog trotted back to him. The man smiled as he knelt and gave him a pat on the head and a "Very good dog." They walked toward the exit and his dog stayed tight at his side. As he opened the gate the man nodded to his dog who was waiting for the command and trotted through.
At first Amanda expected him to put a leash on his dog. But then she saw that his dog still stayed close at his side and looked up at him often as they walked away.
She looked down at her mangey dog pulling on his leash toward another dog. And then she glanced down at herself. Her oily hair in her face. Her fleece had stains from meals from the last three days. She glanced at her neighbor who was picking up her daughter and walking out with their dog.
Amanda didn't obey those little nudges asking her to help. And especially not as fast as that man's dog did.
As she walked her tugging dog toward the gate, she looked up at the sky and said, "What if I obeyed like that, what could you make of me?"
She saw her neighbor in front of her. "Hey Shelley, you guys okay?" She caught up to them. "That was crazy."
"Hey Amanda! Yeah my heart is still pounding. Hey would you mind helping me with Dex? I'm afraid he'll make me drop Kia."
Amanda looked at the leash for just a second and then grabbed it quickly. "Yeah, of course. I'd love to help."
What impact could we have in God's plan if we obeyed him quickly and fully?
Feb 2, 2023