I know this is gross, but bear with me to the end!
This morning, at 4:45 am, I was awakened by the awful sound of my dog, Sherpa, vomiting. Not only was she puking, she was puking on the newest carpet in the house. I jumped out of bed, opened the door leading onto the back porch, and shoved her out. The night was just beginning to fade to the grey of early dawn (not that I could see much anyway as I had not taken the time to put my glasses on), but I could make out that she was heaving for a second time. “Good morning to you too, Sherpa.”
My husband was away, having left at 1:15 am to pick up some friends who needed an early lift to the airport, so Sherpa and I were on our own. I rushed to the kitchen for paper towels to clean up the mess, then laid back down, hoping to fall quickly back to sleep. That might have happened, if Sherpa hadn’t jumped back off the bed and started the vomit routine again at 5:00 am. At this point I began to worry. Sherps hadn’t seemed herself yesterday, she had been lethargic and uneasy. Not her normal happy-go-lucky, ready for anything, full of life and love, Golden Retriever-self. “What is going on with you, girl?” She paused between heaves and gave me a weak tail wag. How serious was this? Was she going to need medicine? Did she get some kind of horrible bacteria from the creek at the park?
Sherpa had finished round two, and was now making her rounds in the yard, checking up on all her favorite corners and chipmunk holes. I wasn’t as sure that this was over. I ducked back inside to get a flashlight to, well… to investigate the puke. I have no credentials to support my belief that I could diagnose what was ailing my beloved dog by investigating the nature and composition of her vomit, but that is just what I did. And there, in the largest pool of ick, was the cause of all this mess. A small rubber disk that we called the “green flippy.” It had been great fun to turn it inside out, wait for it to pop and flip into the air. Sherpa loved to jump for it, capturing it mid-flip.
At some point in the last few days, she apparently swallowed it whole.
Now I knew that everything was going to be OK. The foreign object had been expelled. As we lay down to finally drift back off to sleep, Sherpa gave my hand three little licks as if to say, “Thank you. Sorry about the mess, and I do feel better now. Love you.” “I love you too, you golden fluff. Just stay away from the non-digestibles, OK?”
Before sleep could come, this thought entered my mind – how often have I felt restless, listless, even ailing in my spirit? As Christians, we sometimes fall into thinking that this restlessness comes because God has disappointed us or failed to hold up His end of the “Life and life to the full” promise. But that is not the case. Sherpa’s troubles reminded me that my feelings of dissatisfaction are often rooted in un-Godly habits of thought or action that I have allowed in my life. Romans 14:22 says, “Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” Blessed is the woman who does not harden her heart or dull her spirit by what she allows to enter and to remain in her heart and mind!
Are you restless? Lethargic? Ailing in spirit? Search your heart. You may need to expel selfishness, entitlement, apathy, hedonism, negativity, gossip, blaming – any old habits of thought or action that are holding you back from the life and calling that God has for you. Get rid of it! It may not be the most pleasant process to expel it, but it is worth it!
The green flippy is in the trashcan, and it is trash day so it will soon be gone from our home forever. Daybreak has come; and with it, a soft rain, washing away all the unsavory evidence in the backyard. Sherpa is looking up at me with her smiling face, and dropping a soccer ball at my feet. It is playtime again.