I was out for a walk in my neighborhood yesterday, praying as I went, and I had a smiling little moment with God. It’s no secret that I often have a hard time accepting myself as myself – that being Mark Mushakian occasionally feels more like a burden than a blessing. Now, that’s absolute rubbish, a complete lie from the enemy, but it does still creep in from time to time. After spending time in my prayer asking for forgiveness and being thankful for this life, among other things, I moved on to more personal things, and I was probably influenced by that feeling to pray for what I did. I charged God to remember His promises for this Christian life, that those who ask receive, and I began asking for boldness – one of those aforementioned parts of being me that I sometimes get down on myself on for lacking. Haha, oddly enough, this feeling had more than likely sneaked in by way of a completely innocent commentary on Facebook about aspects that define the average male… aspects I don’t quite fit ;).
So, as I was walking and praying, I started on the topic of being a more bold person – a trait that is inherently not me. I was lost in thought as I walked, and just as I had said the word “bold”, I was startled by a bark and a golden retriever bounding toward me from the front yard of one of the house I was passing. I was happy to stop and say hi.. but as I stood there in the street scratching her (a she, as I later found out), I was looking around and didn’t notice anyone outside with her. There was no collar/tag, either, so I didn’t just move on. She seemed a little off… like she’d been trapped out of the house for a couple of hours, or something, because after a few moments of scratching her head and talking to her, she sat down and leaned into my legs… like my little old lady used to in her older years. She was whining with excitement, too, and her tongue was hanging pretty far out of her mouth – so I thought she might be without water on the hot day, too. So, we went off to find her house.
House 1 had nobody respond to the doorbell ring, though the dog was very eager to try to get in, so I thought that might be the place. We went around to the side, but I couldn’t see how she might’ve gotten out of the backyard, so we went next door. She seemed pretty pooped, so I took us to the next house, to see if they knew the dog. Still no answer, but this time the dog laid down on the shaded entry and didn’t want to keep going with me. I contemplated getting out a hose from the house, to see if she was thirsty, but while I stood in the driveway, I saw a car drive by and stop 2 houses down. The dog stayed put, and I jogged over to ask the lady about her. As we were talking, the dog came bounding over to us, and she knew who it was immediately – Roxie. We walked Roxie down to the end of the street, where her neighbor lives who lets her out all of the time. The gal was outside greeting her husband who had just gotten home, and said that Roxie had only been out for a few minutes – though with how she’d been acting, that seemed like it might’ve been a slight miscalculation. It wasn’t a big deal, though, and all was well.
As I walked away from the street, though, I couldn’t help but smile. Just as I was asking God for a strength that He did not choose to already bestow upon me, I was put into a situation that called on many of the traits that He DID give me. I didn’t strike up interesting conversation with these people, or lead the dog everywhere as some dynamic alpha leader. I just showed the dog love and patience, I was there for a little hug and a lean, I helped out in a situation that wasn’t big and exciting, and I went on my merry way. I’m not saying that improving oneself is bad, and I will continue to strive to do so… but God created us to be who He wanted us to be – even if it’s what we don’t always want ;).
It was a personal moment.. something I may not have expressed well here, but it IS here as encouragement, for any other Christian who might find it, to keep an eye out for these little reminders in life. God’s promise is that He will always give us what we need, even if it’s in the form of a wandering dog that reminds us of who God made us to be.