A Dog Gone Thankful View of Our Life's Troubles
By Dean A. Ayers
Animals C.L.U.B.- Freedom National Organization
Unlike the dog, are you thankful for everything in your life?
How often do you find yourself depressed because of today's economic problems, just trying to keep up with the ever rising money problems in our society and home or business budgets? Have you found some sordid comfort in moping about… mulling over your problems? Are you troubled and discontent that your spouse or soul mate does not treat you as you wish? That your wealth is spent, or left to others? Do you complain that your health is broken, or that you are not as well as you should be? Do you pity yourself that you have no true friends? Or that you have too many enemies? Do you envy the prosperous, and grieve that you do not have as nice a home, or such and such a plaything, or cannot go on here or there at your pleasure due to high gas prices? Do you murmur that you have not been given due credit for your labor and sacrifice? Are you in the path of potential incoming hurricanes?
Are you thankful for everything in your life? Are you thankful for your troubles, frustrations, unfulfilled expectations, you fill in the blank? I think it is easy to be thankful for the good things in our lives, but not the difficult things.
In order to comprehend the meaning of this article, you need to start off by reading the following Bible passage to understand your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
As with other people in life, the past few years in my life have been extremely difficult. There is no need to go into all the specifics. Through the difficulties I have learned more about God and Christ's faithfulness and care for me. I have come to God and Christ as a little child and saying, "Please, help me by giving me the strength to learn the answers in life you want me to learn." I don't have the answers. When I focus on prayer with God and Christ instead of myself I become renewed and refreshed.
It doesn't take a kick to the head, or a tornado or hurricane in your neck of the woods to know that we cannot get thru life alone, without God and Christ's help. Now, if you had asked me several years ago did I want these particular difficulties – I would have given you a resounding, NO! I would tell you now I would not trade those difficulties for easy times, because of the precious knowledge and growth that occurred in my relationship with God and Christ. The verse that has been my stronghold is "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5. God and Christ have taught me the only sure thing in this world is his love for me and his overwhelming mercy and grace.
Now, please don't get the idea that you hear me saying, be a "happy" Christian and say Praise the Lord for whatever is happening in your life. God and Christ do not expect us to pretend everything will always be ok to our satisfaction of life's expectations. But we can bring all our hurts and frustrations to God and Christ thru humble prayer.
Being thankful to God is not optional; it is commanded. "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thess 5:18) You do well to take stock of your life… and be genuinely thankful.
Additionally, to understand life, there's something to be said for learning from our fellow creatures. The dog has the most positive attitude and the most grateful disposition given by God for us to learn from. Yet on the flip side, Eyor the donkey from Winnie the Pooh, represents the other side of that coin. He always chooses the negative view and if he's ever grateful, it's only when he has to be. "I suppose I should feel thankful for something," he might say once a year on Thanksgiving Day, and then go off and brood the rest of the year.
I would encourage you when you are going through trials and tribulations to ask God and Christ what they have to teach you through this difficult time. I know our first reaction is to just pray, "Lord, get me out of this difficulty", but I would encourage you to go one step further and say, "What do you have to show me?" How can I trust you when everything is crashing down around me? And most important ask god and Christ, "How can my animals help me get thru these difficult times with some peace of mind."
As a mortal person, or as a Christian, or just as a man or as a woman or as a boy or as a girl, as one who walks upon God and Christ's green earth, who breathes His air, who drinks His water, who enjoys His sunshine and His rain, who sees His earthly light, who sees His spiritual light and truth, who has access to all the riches of heaven because of the boundless mercy and love of God through Jesus Christ, who is even called into the deepest fellowship with the eternal loving God -- from Whom every good and perfect gift comes, be thankful. "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever." (Psalms 136:1) Yes, yes... give thanks. Even for your peace of mind spending time with your dogs.
Your attitude is everything. Imagine just what creature has the most consistently positive attitude, the most grateful disposition. Did any of you think of a dog? Last night I ran across this reading of "The Thirteen Commandments" (from the Canine Old Testament):
- When family members come home, drop what you're doing and run to greet them.
- Let others know when they have invaded your territory.
- Take naps; stretch before rising.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Eat with gusto and concentration.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you're not.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close, and nuzzle him or her gently.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- No matter how often you are scolded, never pout. Run right back and make friends.
- Delight in the simple joys of taking a long walk.
Unlike the dog, who seems practically unable to be other than positive and grateful, and unlike Eyor who was created by Milne to be the epitome of negative and unappreciative, we humans have a choice of which side of the path we want to walk along (the one that's partly shady or the one that's partly sunny), or which cup we pick to drink from (the one that's half empty or the one that's half full). It's the same path and the same cup. We choose the attitude with which we view our world and animals in our lives.
Gratitude to our Lord for all the trial and tribulations in our life is a very positive attitude. It is one way to begin, or to enhance, our focus on being positive in our lives. It is a path to well-being and peace. And the God given companionship of ownership with our pets and animals gives us peace of mind to get thru our various trials and tribulations.
So take a moment now, and think about what you are thankful for. I do. I thank God and Christ every night, no matter how tired or busy I am before bed, and I thank God and Christ, for my attitude and gratitude in sending all my dogs and animals to me, to give me peace of mind during all the trials of my life that I go thru every single day.
No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich. No man or woman can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he or she has a dog, he/she has a friend; and the poorer they get, the better friend they have. So look at the world a little differently, while thanking God and Christ every night before bedtime, along with thanking your God for your dog and the little things each day in life. Then you just might realize how much you have in life to be thankful for.
© Animals C.L.U.B.- Freedom National Organization
Dean A. Ayers is a prior United States Air Force Special Agent for the AFOSI. His duties included that of law enforcement specialist, criminal, fraud, and counter-intelligenc e. He was assigned to felony crimes in federal government, fraud, waste and abuse investigations of the military branches of service, and counter-intelligenc e in overseas locations. Dean was also a former Texas State Commissioned Alamo State Park Armed Ranger.
Dean is currently Director, Animals C.L.U.B.- Freedom National Organization and Dean is also a Lead Investigative Reporter for the NationalDogPress. com Headline News ©, DogPress.org, and Animalid.biz news press services.