As you’ve heard (or read), Tom/I are co-adopting a dog. We joke that Axel is quite a lucky dog to have both a city home (with me) and a lake home (with Tom). In a message a few weeks ago, I shared the travails of trying to get Axel in my car. (As I understand it, that started a few “betting pools” as to how long it would be before I traded my car for one the dog will ride in. Please let me know who wins!)
There is no doubt that Axel has some doggy anxieties.
He had one amazing foster mom since he was a tiny puppy . . . so we don’t know what his fears come from. But things that should be “normal” are quite a task for him.
Recently Layne came over for “Axel bonding time.” At the end of that time, Tom dropped by so we could take Axel to the Troutman Dog Park, one of his new favorite places.
Apparently, Axel wasn’t focused on the fun ahead of him, but rather chose to remember the difficult lessons he’d been learning:
To ride in a car is not scary.
Hallways, although seemingly daunting, do not bring dogs harm.
Stairs are actually easy to navigate if you take them one step at a time.
The couch can be a safe space for only so long. At some point, you DO have to move.
Regardless of our coaxing, Axel was not interested. He’d found a new safe space with Layne.
The most hilarious point was when Tom/I both approached, urging him to come with us, he literally got up, walked behind her and seriously . . . he hid. He sat behind her with his large head peeking out, assuming he’d found the perfect hiding place.
A 60-70 lb dog cannot “hide” in plain sight. And neither can we.
In the final days of Jesus’ life, Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, approached him in the darkness of the night seeking clarity around Jesus’ teachings and ultimately, meaning about life.
Jesus tried to explain what being born anew meant, but he just couldn’t seem to grasp it.
Finally, Jesus said, “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” (John 3:19-21)
Exposure to the life lessons we need to learn so that we are more God-like in our life and actions is oftentimes painful. Because we are, as humans, addicted to denial and illusion. It’s easier to hide from truth than to do the painful self-work required for us to let go of our egos/humanity and enter into transformation and change. But – as Jesus said – living into truth and reality ushers in a light (God’s light) that truly changes everything.
What difficult things do you need to work on that you are hiding from today?
In reality, there is no hiding from God. We aren’t fooling anyone/anything other than perhaps ourselves.
What truth can we work on today?
If you missed the Sunday message, here is a link.
The Old Way vs. The New Way