Rudy is not my dog! He came “in the baggage” with my brother who recently (within the last 6 months) came to live with my wife and I (and our dogs and cat).
Now at first, Rudy stuck pretty close to Bob and sometimes still does, however, he has become quite adept at sleeping in our bedroom, and “yips” or barks to get into bed with us. When he does, he tries to dig in under the blankets to get warm. Sometimes he meets with opposition with Little Bit (our 20 pound weeny dog), who promptly lets him know “who’s boss!”
The problem is that Rudy snores! I don’t mean a little bit (no pun intended), he snores loud and continuously. Try sleeping with that in your ear! He gets restless about every five minutes for the first half hour, so he is continually moving about seeking a new spot or position. It usually takes me about five minutes to get the idea, HE HAS TO GO! So, off the bed he goes. Then he finds some pants or shirt or towel on the floor, and wallows out a sleeping place and goes to sleep. THE SNORING CONTINUES!
I have thought of getting a C-Pap for Rudy. I wonder if they make C-Paps for little dogs. Probably not. Trying to imagine getting a mask on the little snorer(?), and then try and get the right settings so “the poor wee dog” doesn’t “blow up” like a balloon. This is more than I can handle, so I am thinking of getting some ear plugs.
Now Rudy is in my office, on a special chair, with cushions, SNORING and he has precipitated this article.
Usually when we get married, we don’t see all the faults etc… “We’re in love!” Over time, the faults seem to get a bit annoying… “Honey, would you mind…”
Since marriage is a covenant, and you promise to God, and your spouse DIVORCE is not on the table. Then you have to work through the little and the big things. (Even snoring!)
Relationships bring many blessings, but they bring many challenges as well. Tolerating and learning to “love above the fault line,” is so important, in relation to church as well.
Jesus knew what it was like to “be stuck” with someone like I am “stuck” with Rudy. His disciples were not bargains for sure. He chose them, worked with them, taught them, corrected them, loved them… to the end (and beyond).
The best example was Jesus giving his life for them, but a good example is when he was eating the Passover with them just before His crucifixion, and since no one wanted to do the honors, He gets up from his place at the table, lays aside his garments, and girds himself with a towel, and gets a basin of water and begins washing their feet. We know the story well… but we don’t like the implications. John 13 records it all, as he goes from one pair of smelly feet to the next, and He even washed Judas’ feet! Hard to imagine, right? If it were me I would be tempted to break a toe or something… But he washed his feet just as gently and tenderly as he did the others.
Then he came to Peter’s feet. Peter pulls back, and refuses. “No Lord, you’re not washing mine!” What’s the matter Peter… you got six toes on your foot? Are you too good to have your feet washed? Jesus tells Peter, this is an “either – or” situation… Either you allow me to wash your feet or else YOU HAVE NO PART IN ME. What does that mean? It must be pretty important, right?
Sometimes we are not very consistent. We insist on doing or not doing because, “that’s what it says!” We want to be exactly correct on “what is” and “what is not commanded,” because we want to be saved, thinking “perfect performance means we’re heaven bound.” Wrong! Heaven is a grace thing.. not a perfect performance thing. When we come to things like washing feet… we say, “Oops, this is figurative.” “This is cultural” “Jesus didn’t literally mean “wash feet.” Well what did He mean? Was it their culture? Yes. Why did they do this? They wore sandals, and walked dusty roads. Yet he says “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15). If we lived in a culture where this was done, we would do it… but not to be saved. The question then is, why is this so vital that He said what He said to Peter? My opinion is that He is addressing the underlying problem of Peter (and many of us today)… PRIDE! This is something so vital both to family, and church, that He says “”If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” If we were in a culture similar to that of Jesus time, and foot washing was the norm of hospitality, What would you think about someone who would say, “You ain’t washing my feet!” Got a problem right? In the family, and in church, we got a problem when PRIDE rears its head.
How do you love someone (or something) like Rudy? Learn the lesson of HUMILITY! Learn to SERVE! Get self out of the way, and GROW in this not so easy attitude or mind set. Yet Jesus learned… Jesus let go of… He was willing to “take on” and even to wash feet, because he loved.
Getting a basin of “God’s grace,” and washing the dirtiest feet, is not a matter of bragging, but just learning to love someone (or something) “anyway.”
Grow in grace brethren…