Barnabas has a new favorite toy. It's a Kong, which is a food-dispensing toy designed to do three things:
- Make the dog work for his/her food, which instills a sense of pride and confidence.
- Slow down the dog's intake of food, which allows proper digestion.
- Engage the dog both mentally and physically.
At this point, Barnabas has three Kongs. The first one is a long, narrow tube with a hole in one end. Because of its design, there aren't many options to get creative with it, so we basically fill it with food and stick a treat in the end to block up the hole. As soon as Barnabas gets it, he pulls the treat out and eats it. Then, he has the Kong figured out and realizes all he has to do is hold the Kong at the proper angle, and the food falls out. Smart dog!
The second Kong is a classic one, which means we can stuff it with a variety of foods and treats and can even freeze the contents to make the process trickier for the dog. At first, this kept Barnabas busy for a while as he fought to free the food, but anymore, he's done within ten minutes. Still, he loves the thing.
But his favorite is the newest addition to our Kong family--the Wobble Kong. Shaped a bit like a bee-hive, this interactive food-dispenser is weighted on the bottom, which makes it unstable (hence the wobble). The more Barnabas tries to dispense the food, the more the Kong dances about the room. It wiggles. It wobbles. It falls down. It rolls on its side. And I've even noticed that sometimes it will fall and lie on its side for a while until Barnabas bats at it again, and suddenly, it bounces right back up again. This new toy prolongs mealtime and usually exhausts Barnabas (a win-win for me!). Not to mention, it's great fun to watch.
Sometimes I feel like that Wobble Kong, dancing about from here to there, not sure where I'll end up or even if I'll be upright once I arrive. I, too, fall down repeatedly and often seem to lie there for long periods of time, wondering how I ended up here and what to do next. I, too, have been swept away, batted and spun around to the point where I feared I'd never be able to get up again.
But you know what? Just like that Kong, somehow I always manage to regain my balance. And when I say "somehow," I mean by God's grace. Yes, even when I'm down, I'm not out. Why? Because God still has work for me to do. He still has a plan for my life. And being the loving Father and Friend He is, He cares enough about me to help me up when I don't have the strength to get up on my own. He refuses to let me stay down! And if you're His child, He refuses to allow you to stay down as well. He's right there with you, offering His strength. Let Him set you right with His steady hand. Yes, you may fall down again, but praise God, no matter how many times you do, God will always be there to lift you up!