I was enjoying a cup of tea on my patio. My dog, Cooper, however wasn’t content to let me just sit in silence. After a bit of petting, he eventually ran off to play in the yard. Last week’s windy day, left lots of branches and sticks on the patio. He loves to chew on sticks. I noticed him find the largest branch. You can see it in the picture above. He did have a problem though. The stick was on the patio next to the furniture. He wanted to get it to the grassy area to sit down and chew it up. We have all seen various YouTube videos of dogs getting their oversized bones and sticks through small spaces. To watch the actual event in person, was hysterical. He tried to go through the gazebo and lounge chair. Nope. Then he tried behind the lounge chair. Nope again. So he turned and approached me. He managed to get it between the table and the gazebo’s edge. However, he couldn’t do that on the side closest to the grass. So he backed up and went onto the step by the back door, around the gazebo and onto the grass. Victory! The stick was demolished in no time.
His patience intrigued me. His persistence inspired me. His lack of discouragement confronted me. I am persistent in many things and have even shown patience from time to time. Discouragement, that is my downfall. He went the wrong way about four times but didn’t drop the stick. I would have, after the second wrong move. I am ashamed to say it, yet it’s true. Defeating thoughts come into my mind. Is it worth it? Why are you working so hard? You will never get there. This is a waste of time.
If I have the wisdom to pray, I may try a third time. If I call a friend, I will vent my frustration to a captive audience. She will then encourage me or join me in my desire to quit. Her response, determines my next steps. If I walk away and sleep on it, I may try again too. Discouragement is a beast that drags us away from so many good things.
If I start the day discouraged, I won’t see the beautiful roses blooming in front of the neighbor’s house. I won’t notice the friend who needs me to be a friend. I won’t be engaged in life but instead will be engaged in my thoughts. Discouragement is a feeling. It isn’t truth. It isn’t even an action. It’s a feeling that leaves us out of the game of life for as long as we allow ourselves to dwell on it.
So pray. Call the friend who will encourage you, dust you off and send you back into the game. Sleep on it and choose a fresh start in the morning.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB
New every morning is our hope. We start each day new. We can even start midday new. Or at 4 p.m. or 11 a.m. or whatever time discouragement takes over your day. Start new. Stay in the game. The alternative isn’t worth it.
Dream Big! Pray Big!