"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." ... Galations 6:9
I do, and I recalled them again while I watched The Dog Whisperer this morning. (Another episode?! Shocker, huh?)
A family had a dog who, for ten years, had acted obsessive-compulsive anytime she saw one pine cone (or a ball or anything small) outside. She'd pick up the object, set it down, then stare at it for hours. Hours!
In an earlier episode Cesar asked a woman, "How long has your dog constantly barked like that?" She told him,"Five years."
Cesar's eyes got wide. "Five years?!" he asked.
People, people, people.
When something begins to go wrong, nip it! Nip it in the bud.
If your child smart-mouths you, correct him the very first time, the second time, too. Don't wait until he's 16 and his mouth has the whole planet mad at him.
If your marriage turns sour, nip it immediately! Communicate. Forgive. Pray about it together. Read marriage books. Seek counseling, go on a couples' retreat or on vacation, but do not wait to address the problem while you're sitting at a long table with two divorce lawyers.
If your dog starts biting, howling, eating furniture, hiding, etc., nip it in the bud! Seek advice right away. Take her for walks. Watch The Dog Whisperer, read Cesar's books. Have her health checked, but don't let her spend years giving herself and you a sad or frustrated or frightened life.
If you begin feeling depressed, nip it! Ask for help, seek counseling. Read online about possible causes and natural cures--put them into practice, discover what works and what doesn't. Make changes, visit the doctor or a friend or go on vacation but never, ever settle. Don't allow yourself, because of pride or fear or lethargy, to live sad, dark years sitting in corners, staring at people outside who are free.
We've got just one life here and Jesus died to make it a set-free, abundant one.
God can make a way where there is none, but sometimes we must go on a journey to find it. But what helps immensely? Attacking problems early. In the bud before they've grown huge, before they've blossomed into--not things of beauty--but of ugliness.
Remember Barney Fife. Remember to nip it. Nip it in the bud.
You, your family, your friends, your community, your life will thank you. Barney, too. :)
"But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” ... Luke 18:27
"So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." ... Hebrews 6:12