Do you remember in those Scooby Doo cartoons where whenever Scooby Doo saw a ghost he got so scared he went scrambling in three different directions at the same time? His head in one direction, his arms in another and his legs in yet another, Scooby Doo was so afraid of ghosts that Scooby Doo went scrambling.
I am not sure how this happened, but when Whitney was still a puppy I think I must have dropped something too close her and it made a really loud banging noise because loud noises to Whitney were like a ghost to Scooby Doo, that dog went running in three different directions at the same time around loud noises, she was a pro at the Scooby scramble. When she was about two or three years old I started working with her to walk off leash, not that I ever intended to walk her without one, if I would have her out on a walk without a leash and a sudden loud noise spooked her I would have had no control and heavens the thought of where that dog would go Scooby scrambling to in her panic, my worst fear is that she would bolt into traffic, but I wanted her to learn to obey even when she wasn’t tethered to me, ya know, just in case. So we practiced and practiced and practiced, oh my did we practice.
She knew that at the pond and in the woods she could roam freely but on the sidewalk she had to stay next to me. It had been a good long while since we practiced any off leash behavior and this summer I have no idea what I was thinking but we were coming out of the woods after a little hike and some swimming, and as we made our way up to the sidewalk on our way home I forgot to hook her back up to her leash, she must have known this even though I didn’t because she did not leave my side the entire walk home. I really thought she wasn’t feeling well because usually she would sniff every tree within a 1 mile radius but this time she didn’t, there were hammers pounding, lawn mowers mowing (lawn mowers were a definite dislike for her) trimmers whizzing, all sorts of noises going on and yet she stayed in step with me, we were just a few feet from the driveway when I looked down at the leash in my hand and discovered that it was not attached to her, in a panic I stopped dead in my tracks and that dog stopped and sat down right beside me and looked up at me as if to ask “ok, so uh what are we going to do now”? you would have thought the circus was in town with all the whooping and hollering I was doing, I was so excited that after all the years of not practicing that she still remembered and did what I taught her, you have no idea what a big deal I made out of that, Whitney got a double dose of treats, an extra long brush down and I put some chucks of left over pot roast in her dinner, over and over again I praised her for what a good girl she was.
Seasons are like training grounds for what is up ahead, and sometimes the training seems to be a little bit like overkill, I get that, you have no idea how much I get that. Sometimes I wonder what test He is giving me that I am so epically failing at that it is preventing me from moving forward. He knows where He is sending us and what could happen if He sent us there before He has completed His work, anyone who has ever been in a time like this knows He is quite thorough is His work, there is no stone left unturned when He gets done with you. A life in Christ is anything but boring, it can be unpredictable and at times unsafe, the road is never wide but narrow, we will encounter storms and trials that will send us Scooby scrambling and sending someone out before they are ready can send them Scooby scrambling straight into traffic rather than where we should go, on our knees before Him, seeking shelter under His wing, firmly planting our feet on the rock of Jesus and that takes practice, lots and lots of practice.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.
We may not see right away what God is training us for but if we remain in Him and stay open to His teaching, when the time comes we will know what to do and not turn from it.