The Puppy in Me

            She is a nine-pound bundle of off-the-chart puppy cuteness. Her name is Elsie. She is the newest member of our family. She may be killing me. Now when you look at the picture of Elsie you could say to yourself: That puppy couldn’t hurt a flea. How is she going to ruin a 6’6” pastor? Let me tell how she will do it.

            From the moment she wakes up early in the morning, she has a simple mission. Elsie wants to chew up the whole house; every part of it. She chews the flowers, she chews the rug, she chews the furniture. Then, after chewing, she bites. Her little puppy teeth easily pierce skin as well as clothing of most thickness. I push her away with a strong and firm, “NO!” She wiggles her tail and returns to chewing down our house. Soon she will urinate and/or defecate anywhere she pleases. This little bundle of puppy chews, bites, and relieves herself—that’s what she does morning, noon, and night.

            I try working out in our living room. I can’t do any exercise that lasts longer than five seconds for I have to get Elsie from the chewing, the biting or doing her business. Cooking or working on my computer isn’t any easier.

            My family and I are doing our best to train her to go outside and get comfortable in her crate. I see little progress after a week of having Elsie in our home.

            She reminds me of me sometimes, this sweet, little puppy dog. Like a puppy, I get fixated on doing something destructive to myself or others. I don’t like hearing a firm No either. I’m slow to learn the kinds of practices that could really help me; things like patience and letting go of grudges. I’m like a puppy but not as cute.

            The Bible is full of encouragement for us in our puppy-struggles. We find that we are to leave the darkness and head into the light. Once we were spiritually dead; now we’re alive. We were like children and with God’s help we strive towards becoming spiritual grownups. Some days, we can see that we’re well down the road of maturity. On other hands, we’re chewing, biting, and going the bathroom, in a manner of speaking.

            This morning, I heard myself say something that I know and believe about Elsie, and also about me: She’s going to make it.

This is Elsie.

This is Elsie.