Since summer hiking is not all that enjoyable due to the bugs, spider webs, snakes, heat, etc., I've cut my hiking down to once a week. For me, that's fine, but it's not so good for Mitch. Mitch is like my ADHD child. He just has so much energy he doesn't know what to do with it all. (If I could find a way to transfer some of his energy to me, we'd be doing GREAT!) Anyway, I digress.
Jason is trying to get into the routine of jogging with Mitch in the morning before going to work. However, that dream has not been a reality this week as Jason has been working long days and not getting home until after 9:00 pm.
So, this morning, I decided to take Mitch on a jog/walk myself. Tippy was still settled in bed, so I slipped out with Mitch and walked down the road until I reached the Swamp Rabbit Trail. I took the trail and made a loop back to the house. It was longer than I remembered it being, and I'm not much of a jogger, so we walked at a brisk pace most of the time. Still, it seemed to do the trick as Mitch was huffing and puffing when we arrived home. (We won't discuss my huffing and puffing.)
I was looking forward to sitting down and drinking a nice glass of cold water, but when we arrived at the door, Tippy was there to greet us. Her barks and jumps told me that she now wanted her turn to walk. I obliged her by taking her on a short loop around the neighborhood. At her age, that's really all she needs.
You're probably wondering why I don't just take them both at the same time, right? The answer is simple: they drive me crazy!!!!! They're both used to hiking, and when we hike, they are usually free of leashes and can hike at their own pace. When I try to walk them both on leashes, I feel like they're playing tug-of-war with me. Mitch wants to run ahead. Tippy wants to lag behind and sniff every blade of grass. I just want for both my arms to be pointed in the same direction. Honestly, I sometimes feel like they're going to pull me in two. By the end of a walk, I'm not in a very good mood.
Many times, life feels like a giant tug-of-war. My desires pull me one way while the Holy Spirit leads in another. The world entices me to follow in its footsteps while the Father encourages me to walk by His side. Satan battles me with thoughts of discouragement and defeat while Christ reminds me that He is the Truth. Step after step. Day after day. I feel pulled about like a leaf caught in a heavy current. Twisting this way and that, trying to figure out which way is right. And just like that leaf, I've discovered that it's much easier to just go with the flow. But easier is usually not right.
Just as I split my dogs up for their daily walks, I need to split up the things that pull me in two directions in my life. Unlike my dogs, however, there are certain things that don't need their "turn." I need to limit my daily walks to those with the Father, Son and Spirit. I have no business walking with the others. And if I don't walk with them, they can't pull me around. By focusing on my walk with God, I'll have no choice but to be pulled in the right direction.
How is this accomplished? It's all a matter of focus. Staying focused on God will deter the other things from pulling you around. But don't take my word for it. See what God has to say about it.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. - Philippians 4:4-9
If we're truly walking with God, we can't walk with the world, with Satan, or with our own fleshly desires. The Bible says that two can't walk together unless they be agreed. And there's certainly no agreement amongst those groups.