Extra Baggage

Last Saturday we took our dogs over to Chestnut Ridge, a heritage preserve about 20 minutes from our house. The 2.5 mile trail is a moderate, but beautiful hike down to the peace and serenity of a gently flowing stream. It's one of our favorite places to go.

When we arrived at the gate to the heritage preserve, we stopped the truck and got out. The dogs immediately started running to and fro, exploring and looking for a place to go to the bathroom. We allow them this freedom because they know not to get out of our sight, and they're very well-behaved.

While Jason and I were getting our gear together, Mitch found an interesting item that he wanted to explore more closely. By the time Jason and I noticed what he had gotten into, it was too late. He had found the skeleton of a rather large animal and decided to roll in it. (Why do dogs do that?) As soon as Jason realized what Mitch was doing, he called him to come back to the truck. Mitch stood up and ran over to us but was immediately spooked by something that had hold of his collar. Fear filled his eyes as he ran faster towards us, a large white blur hanging from his collar and bouncing from side to side as he ran. Once we got him stopped, we discovered the item to be the backbone of the skeleton he had rolled in. GROSS!!!! When Mitch had rolled on the ground, part of the backbone had gotten tangled in his collar. Jason had to work it loose and dispose of it. (I certainly wasn't going to touch it!!!)

Mitch didn't know what to think. To him, he was just doing a little exploring, but he got much more than what he had planned on. Not only had he been "grabbed" by a dead animal but at that point he smelled like one too. He wasn't pleased. After I had calmed him down, I patted him on the head and said, "That's what happens when you get into stuff that you're not supposed to mess with." WHACK! God thumped me right between the eyes.

Many times in life, we have a knack for getting ourselves into difficult situations. Why? Just like Mitch, we do things we know we're not supposed to do. We go where we shouldn't go, watch what we shouldn't watch, listen to things better left unheard, and say things better left unsaid. We get into things that we have no business messing with and then wonder why things are going wrong in our lives. Just as Mitch got more than he had planned on, so do we when we do the wrong things. Remember the old song, "Sin Will Take You Farther Than You Want to Go"? It's true. We would be much better off if we would stick to the right path and not wander off to go "exploring." After all, who wants to carry around all that extra baggage (especially if it's part of a skeleton)?