Have you ever been faced with a decision you made….and later thought – “What in the world was I thinking?!” Last night, as I gathered a travel crate, blanket and puppy collar for packing, I felt a bit of fear and trepidation. In fact, I felt more than a “bit”. You see, “dog life” has gotten quite easy over here. Our little ten year old cockerpoo goes out once in the morning and then again at night. We don’t even have to walk outside with him if the weather is bad. Meanwhile, he just wanders from the sofa to his little bed, circling each place a few times until he settles on the best spot for a nap.
Wyndham leaves for a meeting this afternoon and plans to come back in a couple of days with a little something in that travel crate I mentioned – an eight week old puppy full of life and energy. I have found myself wondering what in the world I agreed to- and what insanity entered my mind to do this again?! My “easy dog life” is about to be over. I must confess I felt a slight sense of panic.
In my future I am seeing several weeks of puddles and worse, perhaps a chewed chair leg or two along with some mangled toys that were intended for the grandchildren’s play. I’m sure there will be lots of hair for daily vacuuming, vet bills.. and if we are fortunate to have many years with him…another heartbreak twelve to fourteen years from now.
So, why in the world would I do this? Because the sheer joy he will bestow on me when I come in the door after being gone; the eagerness he will have to please us; his ability to love unconditionally; his longing eyes and cute antics; his energy and zeal; his head that will rest on my knee, and most of all his devotion as a loyal friend will make it all worth it. It’s really about the relationship between a “man and his dog” and a “woman and her dog”.
So, having made a deposit earlier, I just wrote a check for the remainder of the payment. I sighed a bit, but then smiled. To us, he is more than worth the cost. We weighed it, and considered it long and hard. I’m sort of glad we had to put a deposit down. It helped me keep my resolve. When something doesn’t cost me anything, I am more apt to back out. I made a wholehearted decision. If I had kept wavering in indecision I would be miserable, and I would fail to enjoy this soon-to-be reality of a new puppy. I can already “feel” his cuteness.
On a far weightier matter, I made a decision many years ago, when I was a teenager, to become a Christian – a follower of Jesus. Since I came out of the waters of baptism there have been many exhilarating times, numerous challenges, victories and defeats. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I made a big decision to turn my life over to Jesus’ care and direction…yet he made the far bigger deposit – his life. That deposit, and the one he gave me of his spirit living in me, have helped me keep my resolve to follow Jesus. – with no turning back!
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
A decision to turn back would not only cost my salvation – but would also affect others who see my life. Most of all….I would miss out on the most amazing benefit; a relationship with God that gives me forgiveness, friendship, family, purpose, identity, acceptance, fullness of life and so much more. This relationship has such an amazing effect on all of my other relationships. I love this relationship that “I got myself into!” Oh my!