It’s Not Enough

Denise and Chloe wait for Kyersten to show up at the airport
Denise and Chloe wait for Kyersten to show up at the airport

It’s Not Enough to Love Me

You know Chloe loves people. Chloe loves her trainer and people she knows at Fidos For Freedom. Chloe loves the people I work with and she loves her family. Chloe loves me, and it just isn’t difficult at all for me to “love her back”.

But you know something? It’s not enough for Chloe to simply love me. She’s a working dog, and has a job to do. If all she did was “love me”, I’d still love her as well… but then she’d just be a pet.  It is my opinion that even PETS should have good manners, so we teach and enforce basic obedience at home. If Chloe doesn’t obey me at home and when we go out, she isn’t going to be able to do her job.

Because of her job description, it’s not enough for Chloe to love me. She has a job to do and must understand and obey commands. She has learned skills that alert me to sounds that I do not hear, and she assists me by picking up things I’ve dropped. I have a job as well. I not only have to keep her safe, but it is my responsibility to make sure the skills that she has learned are practiced and honed.

It’s great that Chloe loves me, but I have to tell ya… when she obeys a command or successfully performs a skill she has learned and I praise her? She just puffs up and BEAMS with a warmth so bright, that it reaches all the way to my heart and warms me as well.

Distractions Can Interfere

Friday we went to the airport to pick up my daughter who was returning from her spring break in Florida. I put Chloe in a sit/stay, but her paws kept slipping on the slick floor. To make it a little easier for her to succeed at “staying”, I put her in a down/stay. I was really surprised for two seconds to go by and see her POP UP. I didn’t repeat the command, but gently tugged her collar towards the floor until she remembered she was suppose to be in a down/stay. She only stayed there for another two seconds.

I raised my eyebrows and caught my husbands eye. He walked over from where he was sitting to stand nearer to where Chloe and I were. (I don’t think Dads feel compelled to be able to see the doorway from which an absentee child will be coming like a Mom does!)

He said, “Denise, you know the luggage conveyor belt is making a LOT of noise, right? It is buzzing a warning every few seconds to let people know that more luggage is coming up the conveyor”

Oh. Well, umm… NO. I didn’t know that. But at least I knew what was distracting Chloe from being in a down/stay. In order to put her mind at ease, I got down closer to her level and put her in a sit/stay. Now I could feel her tremble every time “that noise” sounded. She just needed a “pat” and “encouragement” that all was going to be ok. She needed to feel my hand.

It’s Not Enough to Love Him

You know? It’s not enough that I love God. I can go around and tell people about how much I love God, but if I am not obeying Him… not fulfilling a purpose for my life, I’m really no good to Him. Sure, He’ll love me back, because that’s what God does… it’s what He is. But if I don’t live my life in such a way that I am obedient to Him, and follow His commands that are MEANT to make me useful to Him, then I’m just one of His kids that happens to love Him.

I want to have a life that counts for something. I want a purpose, and want to make a difference. I want God to use me. If I’m not obeying Him – not loving others, forgiving, being kind, tender-hearted, understanding, etc., then He can’t really use me.

When I know I’m living my life in such a way that He can use me, I know He just looks down with praise. I just puff up and BEAM with a warmth so bright, that I know it’s a reflection of Him.

Distractions Can Interfere

Sometimes I allow worries, problems with other people, or relationships interfere with living my life in such a way that I’m being used by God in a positive way. Sometimes the distractions are really negative things, like extreme bigotry or someone’s prejudice. I don’t care for mean people, and I can very easily allow them to drag me down into a long-term commitment to despise, plot to get even, or wish their downfall.

The reality? A distraction is a distraction. If I’m distracted, I’m not doing Him any good. I’m not doing what He’s called me to do. I can’t make a difference to any one else if I’m distracted by things that do not matter. I’m really glad that I have a personal relationship with God that is ‘real’. I don’t look at God as this impersonal Authority “up there” who rules and controls. When I’m distracted and no good to Him, He gets down and CLOSER. He puts his hand on my back and can feel me tremble. He comforts me and then “I’m good”. I can go back to “work” and do what He’s called me to do. It only takes a touch from His hand.

Denise Portis

© 2009 Hearing Loss Journal

2 thoughts on “It’s Not Enough

  1. Thanks, Denise, for your insight on obedience. Puts it in perspective. Doesn’t make it any easier…just a different perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s