I’ve learned a lot from my seven year old weiner dog, Chester.
Chester vacillates between spurts of limitless energy and hours of laziness – courage and cowardice – often barking at dogs and people ten times his size. Moments later he’s jumping at a tiny bug in the backyard.
And every day, without fail, he doubts that I will remember to feed him.
Every afternoon at 5:30 Chester knows that it’s time for his supper. Even though for the past seven years his bowl has been filled without fail, he still thinks that somehow I’ll forget.
So every day Chester begins the ritual of reminding me.
At first it’s just coming to find me and staring at me, then whimpering pitifully, followed by jumping up on me, more whimpering, more insistent staring without blinking while cocking his head to the side, and if that doesn’t work he jumps more determinedly and barks.
Seriously, Chester, do you really think that after all this time, after all those bowls of food, after all the ways I’ve cared for you – do you still not believe I’m going to feed you? That I’m going to forget to put food in your bowl?
Recently during this ritual, I looked down at those sweet brown eyes looking up at me so desperately, and instead of getting annoyed, I realized how much I’m like Chester.
How many times do I still worry if God is really going to come through for me?
I know you promised, God, but really?
Everything I need?
Even though I’ve seen it time after time in my life – day after day – he’s provided the bread that he promised and much more.
And he will continue.
Food in my bowl.
Warm blankets on my bed.
Treats on occasion.
And throw me a bone when I least expect it.