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So Much to Learn


Brenda Nail DeLauder Columnist

  Early each morning, I take my walk before the day heats up. Iím still going alone, but Pepper will soon be able to join me. Our training sessions are going well, and this young pup catches on quickly for one his age. I find myself having to hide laughter when he is not following a command, and it makes me wonder if our Heavenly Father does the same thing. Pepper is a precious member of our family even when he is being naughty. We, as children of God, are precious in His sight, even if we think we can handle life without His help.

  Pepper likes to help carry his leash and pretty soon those big feet and gangly legs are all wrapped up. Whenever we decide we can do something on our own and let go of Godís hand, we too become all tangled up and fall down. Pepper is beginning to learn how to get untangled on his own, but I still have to stop and lend him a hand, much like our Father does for us.

  Catcher, our outside kitty, is proving to be a great instructor on teaching the Basic 101: ďCats Rule.Ē He seems to understand we must train this young pup instead of running away. This morning they were nose to nose. Catcher had his paw ready to smack him but never needed to. Both showed good restraint and manners, and Iím not sure who deserved the most praise. Whenever we help someone or have them help us, we work together to get the best results. Itís important to learn compromise and grow in our understanding of what having patience is all about.

  At a recent neighborhood party, one of the high school graduates sought me out to thank me for a gift I had sent him. Instead of the standard ďthank you for my giftĒ comment, we enjoyed a delightful discussion about the devotional book I gave him. Later, I shared that with his mom, who tries hard to enjoy her childrenís youth but struggles with holding tightly to the reins. She was both pleased and shocked to realize he was finally maturing into a nice young man. Sometimes we have to let them fall down and get up by themselves. When they do so, they begin to tread their path with a little more care.

  Puppies in training or teenagers learning to find their own way need us to help them. The difficulty for us as teachers is figuring out how much is help, and how much is too much. Thank-fully, God knows just the right amount and how to dispense it. I cannot imagine going through life without the Masterís hand on my shoulder, letting me know when I need a little push, or held back to slow me down. Some-times itís a firm hand telling me to stop.

  The only thing to ever block me from gaining Godís direction is me. My daily quiet time is my connection with Christ. When-ever I allow hectic schedules and big projects to take up that time, I soon become wrapped up in the chaos, much like Pepper gets tangled up in his leash. The harder I struggle to gain control, the longer Iím held back. This joyful puppy is learning when he obeys a command, the leash is no longer tripping him up and best of all, thereís a treat to be gained. This joyful human is gently being reminded by Pepperís actions to apply the same rules in my own life. God always sends us help. Sometimes, if we are lucky, in cute packages of long legs, big feet and mighty ears.


  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.



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