My Teacher Has a Cold Nose

Today’s scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Robin Herman):

Have you ever forgotten your dog outside in the rain? Ever forgot to feed them? Step on their tail?

Bailey J. HermanBailey was a crazy little gray dog, about 35 pounds, with all the attitude imaginable for a creature of his size. Countless times, I’ve walked out into the living room and seen him standing outside the sliding glass door waiting to be let back in. His paws are up on the door frame and every breath exhales in a whine. As I get closer, his feet would pitter patter with anticipation and his whines would get louder and more insistent. He could be cold and wet or just hungry, but he left no doubt that he wanted inside.

There were times I’d been back in a room for hours and came out to see him at the door. Oops! I’d run over to the door and let him in. Without fail, he was delighted to be let inside. Delighted with me and delighted to be inside. That is my favorite thing about dogs: they live in the ‘now.’ One second, they can be absolutely miserable and the next, delighted. My dogs have never been mad at me, never held a grudge, never got back at me. They are a wonderful example.

I’m a dog trainer, and people are always telling me that their dog was bad because they were mad at them for leaving them home alone. Bless dog’s little hearts, they are just not that complex in their thinking — they’re just upset because they’re alone and can’t control it. It’s interesting that we attribute such a human trait to them. We project a lot — probably more in line with how we’d behave sometimes.

I want to learn to live in the moment like dogs do. If they got mad at me, or bit me for not letting them in soon enough, we would not have the relationship we do. It’s the fact that they forgive me so quickly and run in the house just as happy as they can be that endears them to me and makes be strive to be a better care taker.

I’m a dog trainer, they are a people trainer. And I’m really grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned.

Thought for the day: My dog knows how to “let things go” — grudges, anger, revenge. What can I let go of today?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.