The Beagle and the Ibis

I laughed inwardly at the comical sight coming toward me. A man was out walking his two very-different dogs. While the little black mop-of-a-thing was trotting contentedly at his heels, the cute-as-a-button beagle wasn’t. He was straining at the end of his very long leash.

But not straining forward. At least that would have been moving in the same direction as his owner. Nope. He was pulling off to the side. And for no reason even. There was nothing in that area to tantalize him. No grass or bushes or anything. Just plain concrete. He was simply straining to strain. And judging by his owner, who obviously had to shop at the big and tall men’s shop, the pulling was also pointless.

And observing this little dog’s mighty, yet fruitless pulling—forcing his threesome to be taking up the whole wide width of the walkway—just struck me as humorous. I worried for a moment that I might have to limbo under the leash, but managed to squeeze by on the side. As I did, I smiled and said, “My, that little cutie-pie wants to go his own direction!”

I could almost hear God commenting the same thing about us.

And the direction-challenged examples weren’t over yet.

As I got to the end of the Riverwalk and swung around to head back home, I was startled by what I didn’t know was right behind me. I came face-to-face with one of those rare and spectacular sunrises that makes us all gulp. Shooting its great beams of light through the billowy clouds, I was pretty sure I could hear the trumpets tuning up and God clearing His throat for the big announcement. Yep. THAT kind of sunrise.

It was almost a little disconcerting finding out that something so huge and grand had just been quietly there, not pushing itself, but waiting for me to change course and notice. Had I walked on for even a few more minutes, it could have been gone, in the blink of an eye, and I never would have known.

So as the second-coming seemed to be arranging itself in the sky, I noticed a big white ibis with his curved orange beak strolling along the edge of the water—with his back to it.

“Hey? You see that?” I inquired, pointing upward. Nope. He ignored me. He was content to go his own way.

The ibis had no idea what he was missing. And until I turned around, neither did I. In fact, neither did the beagle. Although the dog was going east and should have seen the sunrise, in order to pull away hard enough, he had to have his head down.

Many of us will fall into bed this evening, exhausted after another long day of pulling our own way, having no idea what contributes to our exhaustion, or the moments of brilliance we just passed up along the way.

And for someone who can relate to both the stubborn beagle and the clueless ibis, I plan on making some changes. I don’t want to waste one more minute traveling the wrong direction or having my head down when it shouldn’t be. I want to experience the joy and wonder of a sunrise life.

How about you?

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