Most mornings I take Dasha, our 9-month-old puppy, on a walk in our neighborhood. It’s early so her senses are wide-awake and smelling everything! Regularly, as we’re walking, she sees a lizard and spastically pounces to catch it, jerking my arm and, at 42 pounds, sometimes almost pulling me down. The tiny creature usually escapes but my shoulders become tired of this lurching around in multiple directions. “Good thing we have a leash that’s a little stretchy,” I think.
And here comes another lesson from my puppy.
That stretchiness of the leash acts like a shock absorber for my arms. It has some “give” in it so it’s not taut all the time. It yields a little. So I hear the Spirit saying to me, “Maybe you should be more like this leash; not so stiff and stressed out. Have some ‘give.’” Oh boy.
Interesting thought. I do find myself oftentimes wanting to hurry through the day — to get things done, drive home faster, hustle from one thing to another, but for what? So I can then finally relax?!
“The leash is part of the walk,” I hear the Lord say. “Chill out. Don’t be so tense!” He whispers. (That’s how He talks to me, friends.)
Climbers who scale huge cliffs hundreds of feet high, use safety ropes in case they fall. These ropes absorb what would be a very sudden shock if they fell, giving them a little “spring” instead of a jerk at the end. If it didn’t have any springiness, it could really cause some major harm to the person.
Emotionally, we’re not equipped to carry a heavy load all the time. We’re not meant to be “strung out” or “wound tight.” We need some “give” and “elasticity” in our beings like a dog leash or a climber’s rope.
In Matt. 11:28 Jesus tells us to “Come unto Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I believe this is an invitation, not just for the end of the day when things are finally done, but for the journey throughout the day. I want to be resting in Father’s love instead of emotionally getting yanked around by various “lizard chasings” all day.
I need to keep my pliancy — my ability to be jerked by these daily unexpected happenings yet still be at rest and maintain my peace.
So, my dear reader, I have set a goal — to walk through life on a stretchy leash. I want to be able to absorb anything the world throws at me while still reflecting a semblance of my Father to others. I think I may need a really long one though.