Mitch, always so full of energy, would run ahead for a little ways and then run back to us. He would run up the sloping sides of the trail, through the woods, then cross to the other side and do the same thing.
Tippy, who is a little overweight and a good bit older than Mitch, lagged behind at her own pace, stopping every now and then to sniff and mark. Still, she made an effort to keep up, which is more than she'll do when she's on the leash. (She has a bit of a stubborn streak. I think I know someone else like that.)
We walked the trail until we reached the lake, then we decided to see if they would run and play, yet stay within our sight. So, Jason and I sat down on the ground in front of the lake and just spent some time enjoying one another's company. Before long, the dogs had wandered off, exploring every nook and cranny (and mud hole).
We spent probably close to thirty minutes just sitting at the lake and allowing the dogs to run free. They loved it!
On our way back up the trail, Mitch decided he wanted to play tag, so he'd run ahead, then circle back and tag one of us when we weren't looking. (Tippy was thrilled at this. NOT!) He ran and played and looked so happy. I laughed at him until my face was literally hurting. Jason turned to me and asked, "What's so funny?' With a huge grin, I said, "I'm just happy to see him so happy."
That thought has stuck with me for several days now. For those of you with children, doesn't it make you happy to see your children happy? For me, my dogs are my children, so I can't help but smile when I know they're enjoying life. Do you think our Heavenly Father is any different? Don't you suppose it makes Him happy to see us happy? I think so. I think He smiles when we smile and laughs when we laugh. I think He's blessed when He sees us enjoying life.
So, what about the hard times? What about those times that life is not so enjoyable? During those times, He knows our pain, and if we can still smile through our tears, He smiles that much more. It's like the song Rodney Griffin wrote, "God Wants to Hear You Sing." God's happy when we smile during the good times, but He's really blessed when we can still smile through the bad times.
Make God happy today--be happy!
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.