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  • Writer's pictureMark

Dog Bed

Working from home has its benefits. I get to watch my dog, Stitches (AKA The dog who would be King). One day he came into my office and was going to take a nap on the mat Linda and I set out for him. As dogs sometimes do, he scratched and pulled to make it more comfortable. It’s hard to see how a wrinkled up mat is better than the cushy flat one, but hey, he’s a dog. Who knows what he’s thinking?

The picture included here is far from the messed up mat he’d pulled out of shape, but I wasn’t able to take a picture right away. Maybe Linda had pulled things back into shape a bit. Still, you get the idea, right?

Dogs frequently “mess up” things and are unable to straighten them out. Just like humans can mess up their lives and can’t fix them. Adjustments are made, but the mess is still a mess.

Until Jesus comes along and flattens our mat.

The thing is, the dog mat of our life CAN’T be straightened out while we’re still plopped down and napping. Jesus has to lift us up off the “comfortable” mat we’re used to, straighten it out, and put us back.

The process isn’t easy. We’re kinda warm, all curled up, and even if that wrinkle makes a painful crease in our side, it’s better than getting up on a cold winter day and shivering, right?

Just because God makes us uncomfortable doesn’t mean he’s not doing what’s best for us. Many times I’ve complained to Him about what’s happening in my life. I’d rather things where “this” way or “that.” I’ve beaten my chest, railed against the injustice of it all, and didn’t really like what was happening to me, my family, etc.

There have been times when I didn’t like Him so much. Back in the early 2000s I thought He was pointing me in a certain direction and I was ready to jump in feet first to do what I thought He wanted me to do. Just as I was about to take that leap, everything crumbled on that plan. Was I ever ticked off!

I turned my back on God and pouted for years. I curled up on my little wrinkled mat and napped, not caring about the crease in my side. God told me to do “this,” and when everything fell apart I felt betrayed.

Among the refrain of betrayal I felt was a thought I’d had leading up to the moment of dispersing dreams: “When this happens I’ll have plenty of time to write.”

Was God simply revealing to me what my real passion in life was? I wasn’t supposed to do “that thing,” but “this other thing.” If I were doing something else, I wouldn’t accomplish what I was supposed to be doing - writing.

There’s a project I conceived of about twenty-five years ago. I’ve worked on it with varying degrees of intensity, and largely considered it to be like my Mr. Holland’s Opus. This is what I’m supposed to do with my life.

Then, about two years ago I had another writing project I think God wanted me to do. My original Life’s Work (the Ravid, Aviel, and Mayir trilogy) was, perhaps, just the warm-up act for a project (The Archives) I doubt I’ll live to see to fulfillment. Someone else might have to finish that one.

Like so many important things it’s bigger than what a single individual can accomplish. At least from what I can tell now. Perhaps He’ll give me the time to finish, but maybe not.

Maybe I’ll be leaving my wrinkled mat for someone else to straighten out.

That’s His decision, not mine.

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