So, it finally happened this week- our family got a dog!
To properly understand the significance of this addition to the family, allow me a moment of dramatic backstory.
(Que flashback) It was on our first wedding anniversary that I took Amanda to a local shelter in Tampa to pick up a dog I'd previously found and purchased. Miracle, a Chihuahua with a massive underbite, was waiting to meet her. The gift was a hit! Quickly, we discovered that she was a runner. If she saw a crack of daylight, she was gone! Worse still, she was incredibly resourceful in getting out of the back yard (literally unscrewed a plank by rubbing it a certain way). While we loved her, she was also a frustration. Miracle was with us in Florida, Arizona, and California...but then (cue dramatic music), a neighbors dog entered our yard and effectively killed her; that was an awful day.
(cue fast-forward) A few years later, I decided to be "that dad" and get the girls a "Christmas dog". The search was on! I found a gentle giant of an outdoor dog named Little Bear. Oh the joy and surprise that took place on pick up day. That joy faded on the first day. The place apparently forgot to tell us that he hates dogs, whether he sees or hears them. They also forgot to tell us he hated being confined in...well, anything! After destroying different sections of fences, obedience training, digging out of the yard, consistently jumping in our neighbor's yard, and knocking an older lady off her bike because she had her dog with her, we realized we need to reconsider his future with us. The kennel master was glad to receive him back and upset that the front desk had ever let him go with our family because she knew he had these issues. She knew he needed "a farm of his own".
(Background dissolves to current day) I have kept my promise-- "when we move back into the city, we can get a dog" (coyote issues at our previous house). After months of looking and several let downs, we adopted a 3 yr. old, 7 lb. Yorkie named Java! He checks all the boxes- tiny, hypoallergenic, likes kids, etc.
I think the Petsmart employees' ears are still ringing from my girls' screams of joy. But alas, we think we've discovered that Java is mostly deaf. Further, than that, he is terrified of the dark. Beyond that, he is a lounger exclusively....like, he has NO desire to play.
The long backstory is to try to serve a greater point- often, we are prone to think that someone or something is "all we need": to complete us, satisfy us, or secure our contentment. So, we diligently attempt to secure or satisfy this need/want. A sad reality hits us every time- what we think would be "it" is imperfect at best and becomes disappointing at worst. Everything and everyone in this sin-cursed existence will fail us at some point.
"Wow, pastor, be a Negative Ninny why don't ya!" I don't mean to sound "down in the mouth" about life as if it isn't a wonderful gift from God, but we must accept the biblical reality- anyone or anything, apart from Christ, can never fulfill us; in fact, it was never designed to.
- When we seek satisfaction and fulfillment apart from Christ, eventual disappointment is our only option.
- When we seek satisfaction and fulfillment apart from Christ, we place unreasonable pressure and demands upon the person, object, or experience that they/it cannot meet.
- When we seek satisfaction and fulfillment apart from Christ, we become frustrated and ungrateful- this is toxic towards God and those He has placed around us.
-Only the strength of Christ can overcome the temptations for discontentment (Phil. 4:10-13)
So, we got a deaf, non-playful, scaredy-cat dog.....but its a good thing. If we weren't able to have him, we'd miss him but it wouldn't change who we are in Christ and what He seeks to do through our lives. I encourage you friends, whatever it is- person, object, experience, status, etc.- that you think will satisfy you, remember that Christ is all you need and want!