I don’t think I’ve introduced you to Abby yet. Abby is the little dog in this picture. She is my parent’s dog and now lives at our house and goes for occasional visits to see my parents who are at Hubbard Hill.
Abby is a Corgi/ Terrier mix, so she’s full of energy and has a protective streak in her. Here you see her barking at the other dog in the back of my curio cabinet. Actually it is just her reflection in the mirror but she is really telling that other dog off! You can see Theo in the background watching her as if to say, “You ridiculous little dog barking at your reflection as if it’s a real dog!”
It occurs to me today that we often bark about ridiculous things that probably do not deserve the attention we give them. Particularly I think we are given to barking at each other these days. A lot of us are on a short fuse after 20 months of pandemic. Things irritate us quickly and we go off on a rant barking at a neighbor or the cashier at the grocery or a family member. Some of us even bark at the newscasters on the TV or the radio. Or we bark at a post online. Or we may be too polite to bark out loud but if someone could hear the thoughts in our heads, they might be quite surprised at our ridiculous barking. Such a state of aggravation is not good for any of us.
So when you are next inclined to “bark your head off” or somebody else’s head off… I recommend taking a breathe and counting your blessings, particularly the blessing of the presence of God. The Lord is near! Here’s how Paul puts it in the letter to the Philippians:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4: 4-7)
It seems to me that Paul is wise. Prayer, petition and thanksgiving while we present our requests to God is a much better plan that barking at each other. May God’s peace be with you today.
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