As I sat on my couch this morning, minding my own business and reading my devotions, I heard the sound of the doggie door. This is not an unusual thing around my house. What made it unusual this morning was that both my dogs were in the living room with me.
I sat quietly trying to hear any sound coming from the back of the house. Nothing. Thinking it must have been the wind rustling the doggie door, I glanced out the window. All was still. Again, I heard the noise. This time my dogs heard it too. I crept through the house and cautiously approached the back door where the doggie door is located. I peered out the window. Nothing. I had just begun to relax when a large black head poked through the doggie door. I screamed. Somehow our neighbor's dog had gotten out of his fenced yard and into our fenced yard.
I used my foot to push the big head back through the doggie door, then allowed Mitch (my 90-lb. shepherd) to help me deal with the "visitor." He chased our guest out of the laundry room and into the back yard. I opened the side gate and shooed him through, then closed the gate behind him. Our guest didn't seem happy to be on that side of the fence, but I know that Mitch is very protective, and I didn't want the other dog to get hurt. He seemed sweet enough, but you never know with dogs.
I had just sat down with my Bible again when I heard the doggie door. This time there was no question about what had come through. The same dog waltzed right into my living room and began exploring my rug. "Oh no you don't!!!" I said as I chased him back through the house. After quite an ordeal to get him out again, I discovered that he had pushed the bottom of our gate open to gain access to our yard. I fixed the gate, and thankfully, I haven't seen the dog since then.
You know, life is full of unwanted guests. Unwanted health issues. Unwanted circumstances. Unwanted thoughts. Unwanted emotions. The key to taking care of these unwanted visitors is to deal with them. We can't ignore them in hopes that they might go away. If I had done that with my visitor this morning, there's no telling how many "surprises" I may have found in my house. Don't ignore them; deal with them.
Once they're dealt with, it's also wise to investigate how they got in to begin with. That way we can work to prevent such unwanted visitors from coming again. Does it always work? No, not always, but it certainly helps. There are things that are beyond our control and that we need to leave in God's hands. However, there are many things we can take care of if we will take the time to deal with them and work to prevent them from coming back. After all, we don't want any "surprises," do we?