In the last month, God’s chosen vehicles of discipline in my life have been two, six-month-old Alaskan huskies. My wife and I had been praying off and on in the last year that God would open up a door to find some of these authentic sled dogs to start a small team with (and thus fulfill a fun pipe dream my wife and I have had for a long time). Well, through a man named Craig and his online list of stuff, we found a family who had bought too many dogs and a giddy brother and sister pair needed a good home–and we got them for free!
Since then, some of the initial childlike fun died for a bit as we had to corral them, potty train them and learn how to mix the right ingredients for economical, but high in protein, dog food. And, oh yeah, these dogs NEED to learn how to run! Run. Run. Run! The timing of this, starting in early February, seemed fitting for God to kick me back in gear to be physically in shape and having yet another demanding discipline in my life.
Now, whether I want to or not, I am up earlier than usual to let the dogs out, feed them breakfast, and then run them or go bikejoring with them in the afternoon. Bikejoring is like skijoring, where a dog pulls you on cross-country skis with a harness, except you are on a mountain bike. The first week and a half, I bucked; I hemmed and hawed and just hated life…and was generally as cranky as a 80-year-old man without his meds. But God has a funny way of saying, “Hey, how you gonna keep up with baby number four, minister to your wife, shepherd and disciple at the church and form a steadfast prayer life? Well, you are gonna have to die…die to more comfort and add physical discipline to the mix.”
So that’s what I’ve done. And it has NOT been easy.
But I have kept some weight off, leveled out my normally “not-leveled-out” emotions (a little), been more regimented, and ended up having more energy. Now my prayer is, “Lord, keep me balanced!” This is because, when I was 16-22, I used to be a VERY competitive track and cross country runner and a semi-pro mountain bike racer who was quite fast. I fed off of adrenaline and it ended up being one of the first, difficult things I gave up after getting saved.
Long story short, Grace and I are still dreaming, watching Iditarod highlights (the 2012 race just started a couple days ago), rooting on our favorite mushers, laughing and having a blast with it, and planning on buying a sled next winter. We love Koyuk and Takotna, our Alaskans, and hopefully our oldest daughter will someday blaze a trail for Jesus with a full team. Or Grace and I will start racing too. Who knows!
But here’s to getting yourself in shape, literally, but also spiritually…and having a blast doing it. Here’s to crazy ideas. And here’s to a God that answers prayers and created both beautiful dogs and faithful mushers!
Thank you, my Creator….