Of Lost Dogs, Life & Living Every Day
My wife's little dog Elway got lost the other day.
He got out of the house somehow, and she left to go meet some friends not knowing he was outside. When she returned several hours later, he was no where to be found.
So you need to understand the depth of Merideth's love for this little dog. It's vast. I'm not sure, because I don't want to ask, but I think she misses the dog more than me when she's away from both of us.
At first, I thought "He'll turn up any moment." And then a long night passed, and then an even longer morning. Nothing. I started to despair that he was lost forever. Merideth did, too.
Afterward, she told me that she had never felt so helpless. There was nothing she could do. "I didn't have a Plan B," she said.
Miraculously, he was returned.
Her sorrow turned to joy. The thoughts of what life would be without her dog (who is more than just a dog, he's a traveling companion, a faithful friend, a real member of our family) faded away as she held him.
We narrowly missed the full, gut-wrenching pain that comes from losing something you love. But for a moment there in those few hours of doubt---we felt it intensely. The possibility loomed before us, and we had to face it.
I realized yesterday morning that I feel a bit different than I did before. When I walked our little dog in the chilly Austin air, while Merideth got ready to fly with him back to Florida, I felt intense gratitude.
I also realized how quickly life can turn on a dime, and you can find yourself either feeling grateful or gutted, depending on the direction of the turn.
Listen, I know that there are people reading this who have lost loved ones---some even tragically. I know there are some reading who have received dire diagnosis of a health issue. There are graver issues than a lost dog, I'm well aware.
It's those kinds of moments where we either face loss, or endure it that help us see more clearly how we need to be living every day to the fullest. We need to experience joy at every moment we can.
We need to embrace this fragile, precious, wonderful thing we call life, and make the most of every day we're given.
May this be true for you today and every day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.