Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Walking The Dog (Can Change Your Life)

I used to own a Siberian Husky. Beautiful, strong, and smart. And the dog was pretty awesome, too. On a particular summer day, it was time for her walk. As I left the house, I noticed that my kids had left their little Razor on the sidewalk. For the reader who doesn't know what a Razor is, it's one of those cute little kids scooters with a handle to hold onto as you propel your way, skateboard style, down the road.

As I was passing by the scooter I had an idea and even now I maintain that the concept itself was brilliant. As with many brilliant concepts the execution may have been less than flawless. Okay was definitely less than flawless. I am not fooling anybody, whatever the opposite of flawlwess is, that is probably more accurate.

The adventuresome side of me, my flesh, said, "Hey, what if I stand on the Razor and let Roxy (the Siberian Husky, bred to pull thousands of pounds through the arctic, in a hurry), pull me along the road.

The logical side of me said, "Hey doofus, the dog was bred to haul thousands of pounds around the arctic, in a hurry. 200 pound you, on wheels and pavement, may not be a great plan."

My flesh said "Ah, what's the worst that could happen?" And my logic said "Hey, when you put it like that..." It sure is funny how often my flesh outwits my logic. I'm sure that never happens to you.

So we, the dog and I, started at the end of my driveway, pointing west down the blacktopped hill which was my street. Yes, downhill. Holding on to the leash I playfully called "Mush!" but no movement. How about a forceful "Heeyaw!" Nope, still nothing. "C'mon Roxy, lets go potty." Yep, that did it, movement.

Nothing out of the ordinary, just a man walking his dog, cleverly standing aboard a sleek and speedy, two wheeled, metal plank. Roxy stopped and turned her head but the Razor continued forward causing her to lurch ahead which in turn caused me and the scooter to lurch forward, which caused her to begin trotting down the street.

Since she was from a breed of pulling dogs it didn't take her long to realize, "Hey, this moron is on wheels" and begin to trot faster. My flesh was starting to enjoy this. Speed, baby! That's right, speed! Adrenaline kicking in, houses going by slowly, the road below me becoming a blur. This was alright. The trot turned into a bit of a run and as we continued to pick up speed, I could feel the little bits of road grit underneath my wheels.

As the houses began to blur, my back leg began to shake. Something inside of me started to doubt the wisdom and outcome of this great idea. "See, I told you this would be fun!" screamed my flesh to which my logic replied, "Oh look at that, the intersection." I hurdled down the street, my flesh crying "Uh-oh" followed by my logic's "I told you this was a bad idea." My flesh yelled back that this was not a time for blame, but a time for solutions.

Flesh and logic quickly agreed that there may be time to discuss this later and began coordinating to find a solution. While they were busy looking for solutions, I was yelling at Roxy to stop but she would not pay attention. Maybe the freaked out shrill of my voice was more fuel to spur her on. Besides, "stop" wasn't the correct word to use. What was that word?

Flesh and logic, working together, determined there were two possible solutions. 1)hope that Roxy stops to look both ways before crossing the busy intersection, or 2) jump. I have to tell you that flesh was really pushing for option one. Jumping didn't seem all that fun. They debated for a few seconds, but logic prevailed with the argument that sled dogs likely never came across intersections or other 'rules of the road' situations and therefore probably would simply continue on to the other side of the road. At which time I would probably be taken out by a dog lover zealously swerving to avoid Roxy.

With the decision made, I did it. I ejected myself from the speeding scooter, tucked and rolled down the pavement and after being dragged by the dog for another 10 feet or so, I let go of the leash, coming to a painful and bloody, yet living rest.

And that's when it hit me. The realization that there had been a third possible solution: let go of the leash. If I had, I would have simply slowed down and coasted to a stop, stepping off of the scooter and calling for Roxy to "Heel!" Yes. That was the word I couldn't think of earlier, when it counted. I would not have left a portion of my skin along the road, nor would I have found the aforementioned road grit buried in my skin.

How many times in life have we done that? No, not how many times have we walked a dog on a two-wheeled road missile. That's silly. How many times have we found ourselves in situations, caused by us or not, where we feel like there are only two options? We think that we have to choose between our flesh and our logic when in fact sometimes we just need to relax, take a deep breath and let go of the leash.

We get so short-sighted about our options. Reactionary. We are so focused on our perceptions and experiences that we don't take the time to ask God what He thinks about the matter. We get so caught up with our fallen flesh and flawed logic that we often don't even consider the Spirit in us as we navigate this life.

We spend precious time blaming ourselves, others, or the dog and not enough time just asking Jesus to show us the better way. It makes sense to our flesh and logic to operate that way, but think about it for a moment... Isn't it flesh and logic (ours or someone elses) that typically cause the mess we find ourselves in? Why not seek a third party, The Holy Spirit, for an answer. I have it on good authority He loves us and has our best interest at heart.

What are some leashes that you may need to let go of? Unforgiveness? Fear? Unhealthy living? An ungodly lifestyle?


  1. I believe the opposite of flawless is "flawed." Or "flawful."

    I enjoyed the story, and I think it was something I needed to hear. What I probably need to let go of is fear, but I hadn't thought about it as something I could just let go of before. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Mat. Fear is one of the biggest/hardest leashes to let go of, but thankfully, it's not impossible. I appreciate your feedback. By the way, I like "flawful." describes me and if you don't mind, I think I will use it.

    2. Go ahead. I'd be honored if you used it.

  2. I enjoyed reading this Dwayne! It is engaging and has a great, easy to grasp point at the end. And it explains the scar on your knee. I've always been curious how it got there. jk