I'm beginning a mini-series today. Lessons I'm learning from my dog. Lessons about life, and faith in God - which HE is speaking to me through this little mutt, who has captured my heart - in spite of herself. *wink*How long will this little series last? I have no idea. Let's just take it one day, er, one lesson at a time. Lesson #1: When you're stuck, follow the Leader. Mindy has a long leash which pretty much gives her access to the entire back yard. I think it's a 30 (maybe 40?) foot leash, and it's attached to a cable which runs from the deck to the shed. It allows her to go all over. And she loves to explore! Problem is, sometimes her wandering leads her in circles and she ends up restricted in her movement because she's tangled herself up around a tree or the swing, or some other plant. And in those moments my normally-hyper-dog becomes quite pathetic. She lets out her woe-is-me yelps until someone comes to help her out of her mess. (That someone is usually me...) So I go outside, assess her situation, and then lead her backwards through the mess - until she is untangled and can run free again. And it's in the untangling that I have learned this lesson. You see, sometimes Mindy has to go through some uncomfortable things during the untangling. She might have to squeeze under a low bar on the swing, or walk around the tree two and three times, or squeeze under that bar yet again. But I've noticed she never questions me when I'm leading her through the obstacles. Because she trusts me, and she knows from past experience that I will ultimately lead her to freedom. So she keeps following. And when she makes it through, her little tail wags happily and I usually get some kisses. OK, my friend, it's time to apply the lesson I learned from Mindy. Do you see the parallels for our lives? For the times when we get stuck in our own messes? I'm not the only one who ever gets stuck, am I? Each time I go out to lead Mindy out of her stuck-ness, it is as if God says to me, Karen, do you see how this little dog is trusting you to lead her? Do you see how she obediently follows you? (Don't start with Me about how she got herself into this mess, dear. You know all too well, you've done the same thing.) Just like you can see the solution to her problem and she can trust you to bring her out of it, so it is with Me and you. I see you and I know everything about your circumstance. I will lead you through your mess. I will get you un-stuck. You just need to trust Me. When you're stuck, follow the Leader. I love you!