Mitch is a very smart dog. He picks up on things quicker than most people. Recently, either Jason or I have made the attempt to take him out for a walk or run in the mornings since we're not hiking as much. The idea was to take him out a couple of times each week, in addition to our hiking days, just to help rid him of some excess energy. Evidently, Mitch didn't get the memo that this was not a daily thing.
Every morning (weekday or weekend, rain or shine) Mitch is up around 7:00, hovering over me and staring at me like a vulture awaiting its next meal. His eyes are bright, and his tail is wagging. He is up and ready to begin his day. My eyes, on the other hand, are heavy, and my tail is far from wagging. The last thing I want to do is crawl out of my comfy bed, walk outside into the humidity and jog two miles. It is difficult, however, to sleep peacefully when a 90-lb dog is nudging you out of the bed.
So, I give up and get up. I pull on my running clothes and shoes, grab the leash and try to sneak out the door before Tippy figures out what we're doing. We walk for a little while, then jog for a little while, then walk for a little while, etc. And somewhere along the way, I realize that I'm enjoying myself. Yes, I'm hot. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I would rather be in bed. But there's great satisfaction in knowing that I'm starting my day with a healthy habit. There's peace in realizing that I'm doing something good for myself. There's joy in discovering that my weight is coming down and my waistline is shrinking. All of this because Mitch is determined to be my motivator. His nudges get me started in the right direction.
You know, the Holy Spirit is pretty good at giving those nudges too. You know that little tug on your heart that compels you to call a friend out of the blue or send a card to a shut in? That's the Holy Spirit. The strong feeling that you really should or shouldn't go somewhere or do something. That's Him. The voice in your head that says, "You know that's not a good thing. Why don't you do this instead?" That's the Spirit seeking to guide and direct in your life. While His nudges may not be as insistent (or frightening) as Mitch's vulture impression, they are no less important.
When you first heed His direction, you may feel a bit deprived, as I do each morning when I have to leave the comfort of my bed. But within a few minutes, you'll realize how much better things are because you followed the Lord's directions. You'll be happier and healthier. It may not seem like it at first, but you'll never know until you try. The next time you get a nudge from the Holy Spirit, follow His directions and see where it leads. I guarantee, you'll quickly go from feeling deprived to feeling blessed.
If you liked this devotion, you'll find it and many more like it in my book, 'Paws'itively Divine: Devotions for Dog Lovers.