I do not understand The Dog. He refuses to walk on dewy grass but he will submerge his entire body in a roadside puddle that is more trash and car oil than water. He chases squirrels with an unrelenting fervor despite evidence that suggests he will never capture one. He barks at leaves. He, apparently, does not notice an escape route when one is right in front of him.
Let me explain.
The Dog sleeps in our bedroom at the foot of teacher man’s side of the bed. I do not like this arrangement, but neither do I like The Dog. So. Ours is a quirky 1970s home; there are 2 doors by which we can exit our bedroom. One leads to the hallway and one to the master bath. This morning (actually every morning) the bathroom door stood ajar and the hallway door firmly closed when The Dog was ready to exit our room. Teacher man was up and prepping for a day of closing meetings at school, and The Dog can’t stand not being near him. He was desperate to join his buddy in other parts of the house.
If I lacked hands or opposable thumbs, I’d think: “that open door sure looks like a good way to leave this room.” But The Dog refuses to embrace the human practice of reason and logic. He, in fact, defies reason and logic. He got up, stretched a little Downward Dog and then stood at the closed door, waiting for his exodus. I pointed to the open door. He came to me. I do not pet The Dog, so that he approached me offers another indicator of his perpetual hope and dim bulb. Sucker. I pointed to the open door again. I told him, “There. There.The door is open.” And he still stood, incapable, unwilling to walk through the stupid door.
He could get to teacher man by walking through the open door. He could have saved us both the time and energy of this ridiculous dance by rubbing any two random brain particles together. Instead I had to walk to the closed door, open the closed door and shoo him through the passage. Granted, it’s not like this was a hardship for me; a few easy steps across the room and I liberated The Dog. But still. The other door was wide open!
I had to shake my head, because it could not have been more obvious in that moment how like The Dog I am, we are. We insist on making complicated even the most simple ideas. We refuse to accept ideas right in front of us. We ignore elegant solutions in order to make an inelegant mess. Don’t we?
At the highest level, this can represent the way we approach God. He’s right there, but we go on these spiritual quests, jumping through crazy hoops and gnashing our anguished teeth when He’s right there. But open and closed doors seem to surround us daily. Is there an open door you’re overlooking? Is there a closed door you’re desperate to get through?