Stay! Good Dog!

Last weekend was our annual family campout at Battleground Lake State Park, just north of Vancouver, WA. It’s about the sixth year for us and it’s become quite a family tradition.

The kids (Philip and Stephanie and Jesse) come down from Tacoma and the other kids (Colin, Melissa, Jude, and Zane) and Jean and I and Buddy the Dog drive up from Bend.

This year it rained about 2/3 of the time we were there. Camping for us is an “in tents” experience, so rain is definitely a factor affecting the overall enjoyment of the experience.

We had a canopy and some tarps and a broomstick or two and devised some ingenious covers for the common area so we could sit near the fire and stay not quite dry. The boys, especially Zane, really enjoyed splashing in puddles and making mud.

For a good part of the day on Saturday, I made Buddy the Dog stay in the tent trailer because it was just too muddy for him to be among us as we gathered round the fire and the table.

I made him stay in for his own good. But each time I went to the trailer, he looked at me with his big sad brown eyes as if to say, “Hey Boss, what have I done that is so wrong you’re making me stay in here while all of you are out there?”

There was no way I could communicate to Buddy that his having to stay inside alone was not punishment for some unknown sin.

I wonder if I’m like that. I wonder if sometimes God is requiring me to do something or be somewhere I don’t want to be or to miss out on the fun that others are having and it is, in fact, for my good. But I perceive it as punishment and feel guilty or feel wronged or feel unloved.

I wonder if it’s as hard for God to explain things to me as it is for me to explain things to Buddy the Dog.

I wonder!

About Jim Stephens

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I’ve been a pastor, church-planter, missionary, mechanic, and business owner. My life is a journey of faith and discovery and I love the season of life I find myself in.

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