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September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
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What My Dog Taught Me About God


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“I suddenly realized that this is how God is in our lives. We pray to him, we pay attention to him, but he has a big world to run. Often it seems to us that his back is turned and he doesn’t even know we’re around. Sometimes we’re going straight ahead in a path that seems right, when suddenly an obstacle appears that makes us change course. We get upset at the roadblock in our path and may even cry out to God about this problem.

“My dog taught me a new way to understand God’s actions in our lives. Even when God seems to be ignoring us, he’s aware of us and what’s happening to us, and he’ll bring us his protection (although we might not recognize or accept it). Obstacles, like my dog crossing in front of me, are thrown in our paths to move us away from something he recognizes as danger – even if we don’t. With my dog, I am more accurate at perceiving true danger than he is. But with God, I’m sure there are things that look innocuous to me that He knows are true dangers. Those roadblocks are God leading us in a safer, better direction.

“And when we call, God answers, even though the answer might not be in a language we can readily understand.”

Mrs. S. smiled and nodded. “I’ve learned a lot in these last few years,” she said. “But I never thought I’d learn my most important lessons from my dog.”

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Two years ago Mrs. S. was divorced after an unhappy, childless marriage. Now in her mid-60s, she has no interest in finding a new husband. At this time, she told me, she is just beginning to discover herself as an independent adult, and she is reveling in the opportunity to make her own choices on everything from what to cook for dinner to what color to paint the bedroom.

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