by Amy Chumbley
“God created us because…”
Don’t we all ask at some point, “Why am I here? What am I here for? Am I doing whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing?” There was a time when these questions rolled around in my head until I felt dizzy and nauseous. I was convinced that whatever I was created for, I wasn’t doing it.
Enter Lucy. The cutest brown cocker spaniel mix ever. I love her. She is my constant companion.
Lucy and I have walked together nearly every morning for 10 years. She watches and waits for me to close my laptop, pull out my shoes, and grab her leash. Boy, can she talk! While her “words” aren’t discernable, I know exactly what her howls are hollering, “Hurry up, Mom! I can’t wait another minute! Let’s go now!”
Once we get to a certain spot on our walk, I unhook her leash and watch her go! She doesn’t wait for me to say run and have fun, she goes for it with gusto. Leaping, bouncing, running, chasing birds, squirrels, and butterflies. Ears flapping and long pink tongue hanging out the side of her mouth, pure joy. Her happiness makes me happy.
I want to be more like her. I want to live life fully and joyfully. After all, didn’t Jesus say, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”? (John 10:10b NIV) Yet for too many years I sat waiting, hoping to hear my Father tell me EXACTLY what He wanted me to do. I was constantly asking Him, “What is your will for my life? What did you create me for? Am I doing it?”
Then it dawned on me that if I enjoy watching Lucy do what she loves, maybe God enjoys watching me do what I love. Maybe God simply wants me to walk with Him and enjoy life. Does He want me to listen for His voice and obey His commands? Absolutely! But I’ve noticed that God doesn’t give detailed instructions about every facet of my life. I began to realize as I watched Lucy be Lucy that maybe when we don’t hear His voice and sin isn’t in the way, He’s just waiting for me to go for it like she does.
“Going for it” isn’t without risk. God knows when He lets us go we might get dirty or wander too far. I know that too when I let Lucy off her leash. Yes, freedom can be dangerous but without it we won’t know the joy of living life fully. Maybe joy without jeopardy isn’t possible.
On those occasions when Lucy runs too far and doesn’t respond to my call, I don’t give up. I call over and over, I search, and at times enlist the help of others until she is found – just as God does for each one of us.
Oh, and have there been times when Lucy got dirty on her escapades? Absolutely! My little renegade has returned from her romps through the bushes and brambles covered in burrs, tail tucked and head down revealing her regret. She tries to clean herself up– tugging and pulling at the mess, but her endeavors are ineffective; it’s up to me. She has only to “be still” and let me do the work.
I suppose I could keep her leashed and avoid the times of seeking and searching, washing and cleaning. But I’ve decided it’s worth it to watch her love living. Could it be that God’s concern isn’t spotless specimens but delighted daughters?
St. Augustine had it right when he said, “Love God and do what you like.” I’m learning from Lucy just what this means.
Amy and husband Eric are both Kentucky natives and have been married 27 years. They have two adult children and two furry ones! We currently live in Germany and enjoy traveling.