Sunday, August 26, 2007

Racing and Rolling

Earlier this week, my friend Marj gave her chocolate lab Maddie a bath. Maddie cleans up beautifully—she has silky ears, hugging-soft fur, and a glossy sheen. Afterwards, Marj took her out for her walk to Heald Pond. To get to the water, one has to hike through an orchard of apple trees that haven’t been cultivated in ten years. Marj let Maddie off the leash and she raced away, thundering with joy.

And then the dog rolled.

She flopped onto her back, kicking her legs in the air and rubbing her sweet, shampooed back into the ground. Within thirty seconds, the bath had become a futile effort to impose cleanliness on a creature who has her own standards of perfection.

The only requirement for rolling is the smellier the spot, the better. At Heald Pond, Maddie or Tasha (another accomplished roller) can indulge in decayed apples, cow manure, skunk spillage, or the body of some dead, rotting critter.

Maddie’s refusal to contain her own God-given nature makes me think about my own efforts at holiness. I bathe myself in Bible study and good works and earnest prayer. I give myself a long sniff and pronounce my soul to be silky and hugging-soft.

But I wonder if Maddie doesn’t have it right. Would God rather see me with my head bowed and my hands folded--or would He delight in me rolling with Maddie-like in joy, kicking my feet at the sky.

Seems to me that the leash is obedience—but the roll is worship.

1 comment:

Kay said...

nice. God loves to see us let loose from time to time. And get dirty in a nice wholesome way.