Naughty Dog and her friend Steve the Cat...
We had always had a sliding glass door in our first home as the woods were right off our back porch. We spent hours watching the wild life and enjoying the additional light it provided. After moving into our second home in the middle of town, I discovered how much missed the sunlight shining in early in the morning. Eventually, after many renovations in other areas of our new house, we installed a sliding glass door. Naughty Dog spends many hours sun bathing there while the boys and I do school lessons. One day a few years back, this new door opened to quite an adventure--and hopefully a lesson learned.
It was a beautiful summer day and our house was teaming with kids. They were coming in one door, out another. Through the kitchen, getting drinks, snacks, band aides… In one of the many "ins and outs" the sliding door didn't get shut all the way. It was quite a while before I noticed Naughty Dog was gone. Honestly, she usually spends most of the day sleeping--and if there isn't any unattended food on a counter or table somewhere, she has no reason to move.
Upon her disappearance, the kids all stopped what they were doing and took off around town looking for her. Walking the creek, back lawns, riding bikes around the streets, calling for her. No Naughty. Occasionally we would hear a "bay" but never long enough to pin down her location. A couple hours passed when the boys came upon Mrs. McCormack. She is our sweet, silver haired neighbor that lived on the next block. She told the kids she had seen a hound dog chase a woodchuck under her neighbor's house trailer. She was certain she could hear barking inside his house.
After the brood of excited children gathered me from the next block, I proceeded to the site of the needed rescue. And yes, there through the window I could see MY hound IN my neighbor's LOCKED house--with a WOODCHUCK cornered in his KITCHEN! While Mr. Perry was at work, Naughty had chased a woodchuck through Mrs. McCormack's lawn, under his house trailer, and through a small--VERY small hole in the floor leading into his kitchen.
I think of the events of this day and how Naughty squeezed that bulky, wrinkly, large body of hers through such a little hole I will never know. She must've been in the heart of "the chase", didn't realize how small it actually was, and that she most likely couldn't get back out of it. She really didn't fit.
I too go through seasons of life where I feel I "don't fit". Yes, it may have something to do with the pounds I've packed on since hitting that "forty-something" season…but more commonly my "not fitting" seasons are brought about by a lie. A lie I am so regularly sucked in to. It usually starts as just a whisper…just enough to start me on the road of doubt. Just enough to make me feel like I don't fit--I don't measure up. If not nipped, that whisper can become a roaring, controlling mechanism right from Satan himself. If I chose to listen to that whisper, it has the ability to deem me un-useable. Un-useable is right where Satan wants me. "My cake didn't turn out like her cake so I'm done baking!" "I can't lose weight. I may as well just have another bowl of ice cream!" "I don't read as well as….--I hope he doesn't call on me to read scripture!" "If only I could … like her!" So many possibilities that Satan can whisper my way to throw me off the path God has me on--my purpose for where He has me--where I DO fit.
Paul gives a great visual lesson in the book of 1 Corinthians describing how we all "fit". "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ…" 1 Corinthians 12: 12 And on to say, "Now the body is not made up of one part, but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? I the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body." 1 Corinthians 12:14-20
Naughty was rescued that day. But only after I sent the kids to find Officer Rumfelt, our local police officer. In his uniform, he climbed under the trailer and coaxed Naughty to squeeze back out the hole she had wriggled through. A hole we had no clue of how she had fit herself through in the first place. As for the woodchuck? I'm not sure…he may have decided Mr. Perry was a pretty nice guy and took up residence in the spare bedroom…
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8