BUDDY MAKES HIS BED
By Janice Price
When the first cold night of fall arrived, I folded an old sheet into quarters and covered it with a neatly folded, warm blanket for the dogs to have a comfortable bed. Before the evening was over, the bedding was on the floor at the foot of the bed. By the next morning it was under a table, and Merci, the smaller dog, had a den with a low ceiling all to herself. I moved the bedding back where I wanted the two of them to sleep.
This worked well for perhaps a day. Then Buddy began rooting through “his” dishpan full of toys and moving them one by one onto “his” bed. By afternoon, I found both dogs sleeping on the rug, with barely enough room left on their bedding to rest their ears. The next time I walked through the bedroom, the blanket was rolled into a lumpy bundle. I reached for a corner of the blanket, intending to unroll it and remake the bed. Before I could touch it, Buddy’s four large paws were firmly planted on the blanket filled with his favorite toys. It is his preferred way to make a bed comfortable and since he was satisfied with it, he wanted me to leave his stash of buried treasure alone. So I did. He made “his” bed; he can sleep in it – or rather, beside it – if he wants to.
But every time I walked by the bed, it reminded me of life, not as God plans it for us, but as we move and remake it, whether by accident or choice.
God created us in His likeness and for His pleasure, in preparation for spending eternity with Him. He gives each of us an unspecified number of days to learn at the Master’s feet, so to speak. The Spiritual Manual is readily available to help us get better acquainted with God and His plan for our lives. It costs us nothing to communicate with God in prayer. So, what do we do to draw closer and learn the mind of God?
We pray: God, I really want to know Your will in my life. Please reveal it to me. I want to be obedient and grow in the faith. But wait just a moment, please. There’s a football playoff today. Can this wait until tomorrow? No, tomorrow is not a good day either. There is a potluck and then a bowling tournament right after church. I won’t have time Monday. It’s jogging for my health day. You know I can’t miss a scheduled day of exercise, or I might have a heart attack and die before You answer this, and I really do want to be assured I’ll be with Jesus in heaven.
Vacation Bible School will be starting soon, and then there is the Christmas pageant to rehearse. It will take months for everyone to learn their lines. And I should mention I have a meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh, and one on Friday nights too. I have to volunteer some time to help the less fortunate, so I attend meetings to help fill my quota of good works. And there is Bible Study Wednesday evening, with the church Koffee Klatch afterwards.
Can we postpone this for a few months? I’ll have to get back to You on this, God. Hold that thought, though. I do want to learn Your will for my life.
Yes, some of us are little different than Buddy, who began the day with an uncluttered bed. God gives us an uncluttered calendar on which to write our daily appointments, intending for us to invest some time getting to know Him. He should be our top priority, first on our list, but when we write our commitments on the calendar, we often write them in reverse order – school, marriage, children, a career, or (fill in the blank). We might change careers, but, basically, these are just a few responsibilities we might have to commit to keeping on the calendar. We can not forget to include the unexpected things we can not plan for, such as accidents, deaths of loved ones, illness, or a chance to accompany Aunt Sally on a cruise to Hawaii. Then there are hobbies and entertainment - things that give us pleasure or relaxation - and perhaps charity work or community service.
When the day is over, our calendar has been so full God has been pushed off the calendar and barely acknowledged, just as Buddy filled his bed with non essentials that pushed him and Merci out of the bed and onto the floor to sleep.
When God nudges us to clean out some of the clutter to make room for Him, we often try to wrap up the lumpy bundle and protect it, protesting strongly how important each activity is to us. Buddy wanted me to leave his bed the way he made it, so he can sleep in the lumpy bed he made, until either he grows tired of being uncomfortable or it is time to wash the bedding. And sometimes the only way we learn to prioritize and put God first is for Him to allow us to sleep for a while in the lumpy bed (busy calendar) we made for ourselves.
Merci quickly grew tired of the lumpy bed and cleaned up Buddy’s toy stash. If you are tired of a schedule so full of non essentials that you don’t have time for God, begin to put Him first and He will help you gain control of your time.
Copyright 2005 Janice Price