Before we moved from our Buffalo suburb home, Tom and I longed for a dog. An Australian Shepherd, actually. We were seeing them everywhere and yearning for one of our own, but we had the tiniest yard on the planet (you think I'm kidding?) so the whole Australian Shepherd idea was a bad one and we began to resent our miniscule yard, our too-close neighbors and our whole claustrophobic street.
Of course, God can use those kinds of rumblings within our souls to flick us with His fingers into the next phases of our lives. I get that and I believe that the sudden, closed-in feelings of our neighborhood was partly His way of scooting us out to this farm.
But still, two years and four acres later, we have no dog. No Australian Shepherd, not even a poodle or a terrier or a mini mutt.
We still love Australian Shepherds and drool over the one who lives down the street and the others we pat at yard sales or see on tv or online. So you'd think we'd have one already, right? But what I'm thinking is that we love the idea of having a dog, but in reality, we are not dog people.
Or maybe it's mostly me who isn't. For I've told Tom myriad times that I won't consider owning a dog until he begins helping me feed our cats and giving Lennon his daily shots. And well, he'll feed the cats when I'm ill (which is only in a blue moon), but in five years, he's yet to give Lennon one ounce of insulin. Though to be fair, he does brush Lennon every single day--that's their Daddy-Kitty time. :)
But still, I know myself well enough to realize all the care of a dog would (quickly) fall upon me and I would resent it and probably resent Tom, too, for his non-help. And I'm too smart to allow that to happen.
And so, even though we both craved a dog when it was impossible to have one--still--we have no dog.
The lesson learned? Know yourself. Be sensible. Realize when you're longing for something simply because--at this present time--you cannot have it. Be willing to wait to see which desires are real and which are just sulky longings born because other people have what you do not.
Know what you truly want.
And know who God is and what He really wants for you, too. For Grace comes along with each of God's presents and Grace makes caring for them a million times easier and more pleasant and fun.
Other examples of what I mean:
When people crave a bigger house, not always because they need one, but becauses their friends have one. Or because they cannot afford one.
Or they believe they want to live in a different, better Country--but are just upset with their own Country's current political structure.
Or they'd love a different job--but God's not ready to move them on, for the right lessons have not been learned.
Or when moms of young babies yearn to go back to school or to work or to anything--just to get out of the house and away from the challenge of doing all things creatively and well.
Or when people tell themselves they should have married a lost love, forgetting he/she was human/faulty, too--rather than appreciate their own spouse.
Sometimes it appears we simply want what we want--when actually--the child in us is frustrated that something in this Life is beyond his grasp.