As I write this column, my dog is sitting over my right shoulder, curled up on the couch in my office. Aubie (the dog in this story) is depressed. And I know exactly why.
Aubie’s day started out well enough. He woke up Jenn and me at 5:44 a.m. by running headlong into his door until the noise forced us to react and bring him into our bed for a few more precious moments of sleep. For Aubie, this means, “So far, so good.”
When Jenn got up to go get coffee (point of clarification: I made the coffee last night—she was only retrieving the fruits of my labor), he turned over in the bed and somehow, yanked a portion of the covers away from me. Again, a solid start to the day for a dog only eight inches tall.
When we sipped coffee on the back deck, he puttered around, finally crawling into a resting position on Jenn’s lap. Everything was coming up roses.
But then, the unthinkable happened—at least for Aubie. Each week, our sons head to an informal “Mom’s day out” at a friend’s house. This means Jenn takes the boys, then stops off at a coffee shop to write and work on her blog. Hence, Aubie stays with me.
I’m not a bad guy, but to this dog, I’m hardly Mr. Excitement. I’m usually at my computer answering emails or writing riveting columns like this one. Aubie can’t sit on my lap, and his barking at the door to go outside on the deck is often ignored.
For Aubie, life with me is not his first choice. So, glancing over to my right, his posterior is all I see. I am dead to him.
It’s okay, I get it. It’s nothing personal. At dinnertime tonight I’ll be his best buddy again, because this is when he receives treats for the many amazing feats he performs, such as “sit,” “speak” and “roll over.” Rolling over is the best. He tries so hard, but I give in once he gets halfway on his back. Aubie is no athlete and needs all the encouragement he can get.
I wish, however, that Aubie, instead of choosing a comatose existence when Jenn leaves, could see more possibilities at moments like these. He has toys to munch on, everywhere. He could romp through the house, and no one would say a word. He has his bowl of culinary delights (except he doesn’t like the triangles—I wish he would embrace the diversity). Or, endless sniffing and clean-up opportunities on the kitchen floor because the boys fixed their own breakfasts today. Doesn’t Aubie understand the creative options available to him?
But Aubie—as good as he is—chose to disregard the many possibilities of this day, and instead decided to mope over his predicament. In his mind, unless his circumstances change (i.e., Jenn returning, which always leads to happy barks and incessant tail-wagging), there is no reason to move forward.
Tweet This: Often, we fail to move forward because we are waiting for circumstances to change. @KirkWalden
Aubie makes a point for us in the pregnancy help community. Often, we fail to move forward because we are waiting for circumstances to change. Such as:
- “If we only had enough money, then we could . . .”
- “If our board would just . . .”
- “If more churches would get on board, we would be able to . . .”
There are many statements like these. Each gives us an excuse to stop. To sit on the top of the couch and stare out the window, wishing for new circumstances.
We face obstacles at times, no doubt. Some might derail us if we don’t address with them. When we face a challenge we can resolve, we should take appropriate and positive action.
But sometimes, when we can’t immediately change a circumstance, we obsess on the problem instead of seeing the many opportunities still in front of us.
An organization short of funds can still foster relationships with current supporters (Aubie could expend some effort on snuggling next to me, but I digress) and build relationships with potential future financial partners.
A board which appears stuck is still a board of good people, seeking God’s best. By encouraging and finding the good in each other, we might see growth and change.
And whether our ministry has enough churches supporting our work is a subjective judgment. We can always thank those already with us, while reaching out—in a positive and uplifting way—to those yet to join us, without immediately focusing on results.
Whatever our challenge, we must leave behind the frustration of our present circumstances and say, “Okay, this is our situation. What can we do?”
The good news for Aubie? Jenn will return. Then, the party begins.
The good news for us? God is always actively working in and through our organizations, even when we cannot see His hand. Even when we can’t see His hand, we can still find opportunities.
Oh, and whatever the outcome of our efforts, it beats lying on the couch all day.