Normally Hughie, our porky little Yorkie, sleeps in his kennel, a nice sized cage with his favorite doggie bed in it. Scott has been on travel for a few days, so in a moment of weakness I succumbed to Hughie’s pitiful eyes and allowed him to stay in bed with me.
He snuggled up against my legs and curled into a ball of contentment. His sweet presence was welcome and comforting….that is until 4am, which is precisely the time I remembered WHY we never let Hughie sleep in the bed with us.
It started as a slight disturbance as he worked his way up to the top of my head. I tried to lie really still hoping he would think I was asleep still, hoping he would curl back into a ball of slumber. It was not to be…soon his wet nose nudged under my hands as they attempted to cover my face, his tongue began to lash out at my eyes and his tail wagging energy was propelling him all over my head. He was up, and ready to play!
When he sleeps in his kennel, it is easy to make him wait until “I” am ready to get up. No matter how much he fusses, if I want to sleep in, he is stuck in the kennel. Sure, the kennel is a good, safe place for him to be when not being attended to….Sure, he likes sleeping in the kennel….but, to be honest, I have come to realize its effect on our relationship.
When he is “in the box”, I control his proximity to me, his impact on me, I can even ignore him, if so inclined, and there is little he can do about it, except of course whine and bark. When he is “free” and allowed to be beside me, he can communicate his desires MUCH more effectively, to the point of being impossible to ignore.
I’ve come to the realization that I tend to trat my God in a similar fashion. Sometimes I “allow” Him to be close to me. I read His word, spend time in prayer, and take comfort in His presence in my life. I know this is where He desires to be, snuggled up close, leading me through life.
Sometimes I relegate God to a “box.” I can see Him, acknowledge His existence, say, He is my God….but because I keep Him far from my daily walk, I can be pretty good at ignoring Him.
Having God close by may bring comfort, or, as was the case with Hughie, it may bring discomfort until I respond appropriately…but I know I’d rather experience God’s gentle nudges, insistent messages, and warm grace, than to spend any time away from His presence.
Tonight Hughie will sleep in his kennel, but I am moving God out of the “box” and bringing Him closer to my side.
Because Thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee. Psalm 63:3