Today's Thought For The Day at 23 minutes 3 seconds
Officially his name is Dougal. But frequently he’s called anything from “Spud” to “Doodlebug” or simply “Pup”. It doesn’t seem to matter. My new dog pricks up his ears whenever I speak.
He arrived in June and has settled quickly into rectory life. Within a short time he realized that going to bed in the breakfast room means his owner will be away for a while … but will certainly return.
Inevitably, life for Dougal is now centred around church activities. He’s a regular member of the Bible Study Group, attends all Parish lunches and other functions. It is a case of, wherever I am he is happy to tag along.
Very quickly he has learned the sound of my voice and the routines of the week. Most mornings he comes downstairs and just curls up in a chair to sleep some more but … the ‘day off’ morning sees him up and ready for a run at the seaside before I’ve even had a coffee. How does he know?
For his benefit the back garden has become an agility course with hoops and hurdles. That was inspired by a visit to Castlewellan agricultural show in July … he’s learning new tricks so he can participate next year.
In all of this he’s alert for my voice and watching every move that I make. He will react to the softest whisper; I'm beginning to think that he can read my mind.
If only we humans were as ‘in tune’ with God as Dougal is to me.
My regular walks with the dog provide daily examples of God communicating with us through the gentle whispers, and the drama, of the natural world.
David, in one of the Psalms, captures this sense of God speaking: The heavens are telling the glory of God; … 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; … 4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, …. (Psalm 19)
This also reminds me of a line in a very old action song that we learned as children in Sunday School. The chorus is: “Whenever you see a rainbow, whenever you see a rainbow, whenever you see a rainbow … remember God is love.”
All around us, as well as in the scriptures, God is speaking.
Our part is to be attentive all the time ... to prick up our ears … so we can hear what God is saying.