DON'T "work like a dog."
Often we force ourselves to work very hard. Sometimes this simile 'work like a dog' is used to explain hard work.
However, I have always thought that this is a misusage. Dogs will surely do what humans consider work, but they will do it with apparent pleasure and even a kind of satisfaction. Don't you think? And my dog was taking a breather...
The good thing is the reason I failed. I "failed" because I put down my bits and pieces of unimportant stuff and joined my dog on the grass, under the magnolia tree. He didn't even move; he just let me get beside him.
Remember one of the things I had in my pocket? The travel camera? So glad I kept that in hand:
Yes, this is really our tree and not a stock image. ;0)
Now if you are more of a cat-person, I thought this is a fitting way to stop and smell the roses...
Look like the 'cat that got the cream.'
The cat's technique was awfully polite too (must be English!). I mean, it has been pointed out that a lot of cats would have pushed it over and furiously lapped it up. Truth. But ...
It's easy to get distracted by the kitty and not hear what he said, important thoughts about how the kingdom is upon you and later, how it's easy to think things are going to go on forever when we are in the middle of it. Though I admit that I'm glad he acknowledged his visitor (consider the lilies...), I'm also glad he went on with his thoughts .
Things DON'T go on forever. Life does 'go on.' Things DO happen to call us into a completely different location ... physically and spiritually.
You are quite familiar (I'm sure) with the verse about the lilies of the field. Let's take just a quick look over The Message's interpretation of the same popular reference from Matthew 6.
Love that. And don't YOU worry about "missing out..."
The question is: What are we busy about?”
Henry David Thoreau
And this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.”
Robert Herrick (To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, 1635)
“Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is,
and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
-Jesus, the Son of God
Matthew 6:29-30, NASV
"You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
if you don't stop and smell the roses along the way..."
"Be wise, make wine, and in a short time,
lose any great hope. As we speak, time is cruelly slipping away.
SEIZE THE DAY, believing the least in the future."
-Horace (ancient Roman poet)
from the end of Odes I.11
Yes, above I thought to quote Mac Davis directly after Jesus (welcome to my brain). Let's wrap back around to the dog...
A few years later and a couple of month after Satchel passed, a new dog found us. We are in a different house now, but a fun surprise was seeing something we didn't realize until after we moved in -- there is another tulip magnolia in our new backyard! It wasn't in bloom while we were house-hunting and there aren't a lot of houses with them in the backyard. We didn't look for it. But somehow it found us.
I may not daily get the chance to lie beneath it because of it's location, but that one silly moment years ago was pretty significant. Therefore, it does run through my mind often and I will smile many times as I pass under the pretty pink blossoms in the spring. I don't need to teach my animals to listen without treats. I need to listen to THEM every once in a while. As you now know, it wasn't lilies or rosebuds that Satch and I saw ... but those perky pink magnolias which made it pretty clear to me that day that there are more important things to consider.
I miss that ol' dog sometimes. But one thing that sticks out in my memory of him is that one teachable moment where he unintentionally taught me about not making a burden out of time.
It is the end of summer, not spring, no. But I WILL still be "considering the lilies" today ... and every day.
Oh, and all that stuff I was working on that day? I got it all done with time to spare. Thanks to Satch, with whom I shared a much needed refreshing moment under our tulip magnolia.
Now where is my tea? (oops, I'd better look around for the cat ...)