My sweet old girl (pictured above) has always been a low energy dog, but pull out the leash or say the word "walk" (or slip your heal into a walking shoe which she can somehow hear from the other room) and she gets excited. She is now 11 years old (the average lifespan for her breed is 8 years) and though I'm trying to work a deal with God that she will live forever, she has slowed down quite a bit in recent months.
About six months ago she slowed down significantly on walks. Both the length of walks shortened and the pace slowed. I noticed another decline about six weeks ago and she now trips occasionally or lags behind as we go.
At first I was supremely annoyed by the slower pace. I mean, I knew she was older, but our walking had always been about my exercise and not her leisure wanderings into the grass. I trained her early on to keep pace with me and it wasn't until the home stretch of our walks (last block or two) that I would ease up and let her explore. As the walks slowed down and she insisted on sniffing (she is 100+lbs so she can still insist pretty forcefully) I'd try to coax her along. First kindly and then with frustration rising in my voice.
Eventually I realized that walks with Ellie no longer had any cardio benefit. They resemble more an unhurried mosey with frequent stops to just watch her explore the great outdoors. For a naturally fast walker, this was torture for several weeks until one day . . . I decided these short walks were going to be just about her. Not about me. 10 years as a faithful walking buddy, she had earned the right to mosey.
That sounds like a simple shift, but it took me a while. As I began to embrace the walks as being "all about her" I started to enjoy them again. I now let her go where she wants, sniff what she wants, stop when she wants, slow down when she wants. I talk sweetly to her as we go, no frustration in my voice now, just an appreciation that she is still here and still walking by my side. With the shift in mindset came a shift in attitude.
Tonight as we moseyed, I pondered this shift. The situation was the same (slow as molasses walks), but I was different. And it hit me. I sometimes need a shift in how I think about walking with God.
Often I seem to fight God's pace. I run ahead when he is gently saying, "Wait." Other times, I reluctantly drag my feet when he is skipping ahead with an outstretched hand saying "Lets go! It will be fun!" I try to coax him to do what I want - first kindly and then with frustration rising in my voice. I try to get him to keep pace with me - to walk my route, my plan, my speed. And you know what? Its torture.
But what if I had a shift in mindset about following God's will? What if I saw that this walk of faith is really all about him? What if I let him lead - go where he wants, stop when he wants, slow down when he wants? All without fighting or complaining. What if I kept pace with him? What if I had a new appreciation simply for the fact that he is here with me, walking every step by my side?
What if I learned to mosey with God? What if you did too?
I suspect our situations and circumstances might still be the same, but we would be different. We would have a shift in attitude and enjoy this walk of faith. I want to be different. I want to enjoy this. What about you?
Oh Lord, teach us to mosey with you!