I did it. I actually spent the money to have the Mighty Wonder Buck fully groomed. I mean, the works, like pushing all the buttons at the automated car wash. He had been shedding profusely, and a little black hair here and there kept turning into black dust bunnies the size of a Star Wars Wookie.
Okay, maybe not quite that much, but when I picked him up, toenails were trimmed, paw-feathers were gone, and (best of all) no shedding!!!
Well, for a few days anyway. Then the black bunnies started reproducing again.
Grooming my big black dog is definitely not a one-time activity. (I try to teach that concept to my middle school students also, with limited success.)
Spiritual grooming is a continual commitment as well.
A brief illustration: I was having an interesting week, and it was only Tuesday. Several things, you know, like the small-stone-in-your-hiking-boot kind of things. Things I thought I was on top of, little and not so little anxieties and concerns, frustrations. It all came crashing in at once. Maybe I hadn’t been spiritually grooming myself very well after all.
So I was primed for this writing from the book of James which blows me away. It’s one of those “tape it on the bathroom mirror” passages:
Dear brothers and sisters, [ok, this means I’m not alone] when [not if] troubles of any kind [see below] come your way, consider it [my perspective is my decision] an opportunity for great joy [not a little joy]. For you know that when your faith [The Amplified Bible calls faith: the leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust in His power, wisdom and goodness] is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
And this includes more than just finances, employment woes, health problems, and downright persecution. How about:
- Consequences of my past failures
- Decisions made by others that affect me and/or my family
- When God says “no” to my requests
- Broken promises and relationships
- Slander and misunderstanding
There are all kinds of “any kind”—it’s pretty inclusive. And none of it is without purpose, no one is exempt, and best of all, nothing is wasted in God’s economy.
Now, I better get out that special animal hair attachment for the vacuum.
James 1:2-4 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2)