Some inspiration from Max Retriever…

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.

Psalm 143:8-9
– Max

This morning my oversized Golden Retriever, Max, was super-excited to go for his walk. He is always ready, always motivated to get out, but today he was almost beside himself with anticipation, having spent the five minutes it took me to get the coffee going looking out the window.

It was actually hard for him to break away from the view and sit still while I put his leash on. He kept running back over to have another look. “If you don’t get over here, whatever you want to see is going to be long gone by the time we get outside,” I said.

Once we got there it turns out he’d been tracking the progress of a box turtle along the garden path. A small rabbit was sitting next to the turtle and Max was almost giddy with unrestrained glee. “A turtle! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! My favorite thing. A bunny! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! My favorite thing!”

So we headed down the street and Max was literally bouncing, tail sweeping back and forth, head held high, looking around to see if anything else could possibly match the bounty of joy he had already encountered. He was not to be disappointed, as one of the children across the street came barreling out of her house and we got to walk to the bus stop together, where Max experienced undiluted contentment being admired and having his head stroked. “A neighborhood kid! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! My favorite thing!”

We continued around the corner, down a couple of cul-de-sacs, around the block, and eventually through the park as I gradually shook off the stiffness from the night and the cobwebs from my brain. And as I looked at Max – still working his swagger and sniffing at the air like this was possibly the best day of his life so far – I thought about how closely the spirit of any new day follows the initial trajectory.

To get up, thank God for the new day, look out the window to see what adventures might possibly be waiting, then bound out of the front door in the belief that this is – quite possibly – the best day of our whole life. And why shouldn’t it be? There are box turtles and bunnies and children and a whole neighborhood of fresh air to drink in before even sipping that first cup of coffee.

I can’t help myself, I am thankful already just thinking about it.

My God, I thank Thee, who hast made
The earth so bright,
So full of splendor and of joy,
Beauty and light;
So many glorious things are here,
Noble and right.
(Adelaide A. Procter - 1858)
– author Derek Maul with Max

I understand, I am 66 now, and I shouldn’t take the stairs two or three at a time anymore. I get it. But the day, any new day, this day? This may turn out to be – quite possibly – the best day of my whole life. And why shouldn’t it be?

In love, and because love makes absolutely anything possible – DEREK


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