Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Be The Dog! Be Happy!

Dear Friends,

Excerpts from the diary of a dog:
6 am
Hallelujah! I’m awake! What an awesome day! I love going outside first thing in the   morning. Hey it’s raining. I love the rain! I love to run through the mud! Wheeeeeee!
7 am
Yipee! Here’s my dog food! How awesome it is that this is the very same dry food I’ve had every day for the last 12 years. I love this food!
8 am
Hey look! There’s a cat in the back yard! Let’s chase it! BARK! BARK! BARK! Dang! Over the fence. Missed it again. They’re always too fast. I love cats!
9 am
Time for my morning nap. I love my morning nap!
10 am
Wahoo! A car ride? I love car rides! They’re my favorite! To the vet? Thanks Dad! I love going to the vet! Deworming and a Parvo shot? Yay!!
11 am
Oh boy! I’m back in my yard again. I love my yard!
1 pm
Awesome! Here comes my Dad with the dog brush. I love to be brushed!
1:30 pm
Wow! A dog biscuit! With poultry by-products! Can my life get any better than this? I love dog biscuits!
3 pm
Whoopee! I’m in the house again. My Dad’s the most wonderfully awesome, most perfect person in the entire world! I love being with my Dad!
4 pm
Hooray! My favorite dog food again! This is sooo awesome! I love my dog food!
9 pm
All right! It’s time to go to bed! I love going to bed!

Excerpts from the diary of a cat: 
“I nearly succeeded at killing the prison guard this morning. I ran between her feet as she was walking into the kitchen. She almost went down but grabbed onto the counter. I must re-attempt this technique in a more open area where there’s nothing to stop her fall. I’ve been held against my will in captivity for eight years and three months. My captor continues to taunt me with bizarre little plastic things on the floor she calls toys. She also apparently gets a perverse sort of amusement out of tricking me into chasing a red dot that she shines on the floor. She thinks I can’t hear her laughing when I fail to catch the dot. I am subjected to this ridicule and diabolical cruelty every time she thinks I need to exercise.” 

“For the entire time I’ve been confined to her house, my captor dines lavishly on freshly cooked meals while I am forced to eat dry cat food. My only hope is to eventually escape. She guards the doors to the outside, and to the freedom I so long for, but one day success will be mine.” 

“The only joy in life is for the minuscule payback I am able to devise to make the guard’s life miserable. Last week when she left her underwear drawer open, I was able to jump into it and hack up a hair ball. I ran under the bed when she found it. I have done everything possible to show how I feel about being held in this prison. When I caught a mouse, I bit off its head and left the carcass on her pillow.” 

“I did that out of spite, but she read a book on cat behavior, thought I was lonely and so she brought more cats into the house for me to “play with.” The prison conditions are already overcrowded as is, but the new cats do give me someone to torture while she’s at work. This miserable confinement is unbearable, and my only relief is scheming of ways to torment the other feline prisoners. Today, I’ll destroy the side of the guard’s antique couch with my claws and when she comes home, I’ll pretend to be asleep on her bed and look all cute and innocent. She’ll blame it on those clueless cats playing and racing around the living room...” 

Have you known people who were like the cat? Feeling captive in their circumstances, they grumbled about everything in their life. Oversensitive and passive-aggressive, they saw themselves as victims of their spouse, boss, the government. Their only hope was to dream of the day when they could escape to a better job, a better house, a better  spouse. They could find no good in their circumstances. They had no peace. During a time of sharing at a Thanksgiving church service, I once asked a woman what she had to be thankful for. She hissed into the microphone, “I have NOTHING to be thankful for!”  (I love being a pastor!!)

So what if we were to live life like the dog? 6 am: Oh Boy! What a wonderful day that You have made God! Let me truly rejoice and be glad in it! All Right! Time for my coffee! I love my coffee! Time to clean the house! Thank you Lord for giving me the safety and security of a roof over my head when billions of people don’t even have water and electricity. I love cleaning my house! Lookee here! A traffic jam on my way to work! That just gives me more time to relax and pray! Lord, I love these interruptions in my day when I can come into Your presence with prayer. Oh Boy! I get to go to the dentist today! A root canal? You’re kidding me, Doc! That’s awesome! So you can save that tooth and I can keep eating crunchie munchies and I can eat ice cream on that side of my mouth again? That’s wonderful news, Doc! Yes, please..I’d love a root canal!

Make a pledge this Thanksgiving. If you’re the cat, repent! Become the dog by being grateful in every circumstance. When you replace grumbling with gratitude, your entire life will be changed and God will be pleased! “In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (We are not thankful for all things but in all things we can always find something to be thankful for.) Psalm 118:24 says This is the day that the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it.” Wagging your tail is optional.

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On a Personal Note: The dog and cat diaries are based on an old joke I remembered and rewrote to describe my dog Elysee. When she was alive, I used to tell people I lived at Saint Elysee’s Monastery. That’s still how I think of my house. Today I have three cats who are each practically perfect in nearly every way and are the exact opposite of the one in my version of the cat diary. (Please understand that I have to say that for my own protection. They know where I sleep at night.)

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