While on our recent boating adventure we have visited numerous marinas. Each marina was unique, there seemed to be one thing they all had in common…GAPS. I had not really ever paid much attention to the gaps in the boards that make up the docks…but walking Hughie(our porky little Yorkie) down them has made me a lot more aware of them.
Poor Hughie, at each marina he would have to walk down a usually long dock to get to a grassy area for his daily constitutional duties. Sometimes our slip was near the main dock, sometimes we were at the farthest end. Each morning, afternoon and evening, he and I would head out down the dock. The boards that made up the docks were usually weathered and unevenly spaced. It was as if the dock makers of the world got together and decided to space the boards the exact distance apart as an 11 pound Yorkie’s paws!
Almost without fail, he would be traipsing along when “thunk” his little paw would slip between the boards. It never hurt him, but it was obviously annoying him. He is already a VERY SLOOOOOOOW walker. It takes almost 20 minutes just to get him down the dock on a good day. He walks carefully along the tippy edge of the dock for some reason and his paws slipping in the gaps only made it worse.
When we are heading down the dock we are usually met with comments from other boaters such as, “He walks as slow as I do!”, “I don’t have any giddy up any more either.” or “Poor thing, must be hard to walk that dock.” Sigh…
I know I could carry him down the dock and avoid all of this, but I know he needs the exercise and the trip down the dock is sometimes all he gets. I also know I need him to be comfortable navigating the docks since he will spend a lot of time on them over the years. I don’t want him to need me to carry him everywhere, he is a dog after all.
I hold his leash taught so he won’t fall off the dock even when he is at the edge. I am quick to pick him up when he gets stuck and, if the boards are too bad, I do pick him up and carry him. Sometimes I get in a hurry and I want to carry him to make it faster or easier on myself…but I try to resist the urge to carry him. What is easy for me may not be best for him.
Every morning, afternoon and evening Hughie and I head down the gauntlet of gaps together and I find myself thinking how much like this my walk with God is at times.
Isn’t life filled with tons of gaps? How often am I walking through life and find myself tripped up by something unexpected. My steps are not always met with firm ground. Sometimes I misstep. It is easy to stop paying attention to where I am going. I have been known to walk too close to the edge at times. Walking through life would be so much easier if I did not stumble so much. Couldn’t God just carry me over all those pesky “gaps”? How often have I asked God to propel me through a difficult time or task, or asked to have my path be made more straight? Does God have to fight His desire to make things easy for me with His wisdom and love for me, knowing that I need to learn how to navigate the gaps in life?
I know God holds me close and no matter how close I get to the edge, He is with me. I know He sees the gaps, but knows I need to see them. I know He is quick to pick me up when I step wrong or stumble. I know every morning, afternoon and evening of my life God walks the gauntlet of Life’s gaps with me!
“Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name. When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” Psalm 91:14&15