Seattle’s KOMO News reported the story (January 13, 2015) of a Black Labrador Retriever who routinely rides the bus to her favorite dog park. This normally wouldn’t be news except that this dog, named Eclipse, rides the bus alone.
The Impatient Canine
Her owner, Jeff Young, explains that he normally takes Eclipse to the park. However, she sometimes gets impatient when he stops at the bus stop to smoke a cigarette. When the next bus arrives – and she knows which one to take – Eclipse often hops on the bus without him, sits on one of the seats like any other passenger, and watches from the window for her stop.
She’ll remain in her seat through a number of stops, until the correct one comes along. Only then will she get off and make her way to the dog park. Her owner typically catches up with her within 15 minutes or so.
Recently, radio show host, Miles Montgomery, was surprised to see the black lab enter the bus by herself and hop onto the seat next to his. He snapped a “selfie” of the two and posted it on his webpage.[i]
The Challenge of Timidity
When I first read this story my mind went back to my child-rearing days. I recall how it took a lot of arm-twisting to get one of my more timid kids to ride public transportation to a nearby college. After a lot of whining he finally “braved” taking the bus. I wished I’d had this story then to show him, “If a black lab (not particularly known for brains) can do it, then you can do it.” Please don’t get mad at that comment. I once owned a black lab and she was the best dog I ever had. She just wasn’t the smartest.
Often we are faced with new challenges that represent “unexplored territory” to us – something we’ve never done before. Yes, it’s natural to feel a little apprehension when called upon to do something totally new. But we can always be assured of this – someone, with a lot less brains and ability than we have, has done it before and succeeded.
God is Greater
If you are prone to self-doubt and tend to lack confidence in the face of challenges then acknowledge that the “problem” lies in your fears, not in the task itself. The task is manageable. People with a lot less talent have done it before. But your fears are making it look impossible.
Have the objectivity to recognize your own predisposition to fear and how it’s making the smallest molehill look like a mountain. And get in the habit of dismissing those irrational doubts and fears that plague you.
Remember also that you’re never alone. Everyday millions of people find courage and strength for life’s challenges by simply reaching out to the ever-present God who yearns for us to flee into His loving arms. “I will be with you. I will not fail you or forsake you,” is God’s promise (Joshua 1:5).
One famous General said, reaching out to God in prayer is like plugging into an all-powerful current whose source is in heaven. He credited prayer with securing victory in the Battle of Bulge. What keeps you from reaching out to the God who loves you? Your doubts? God is greater than your doubts and can meet you right where you’re at.
Dear God in heaven – and here with me now – please take me by the hand. Give me faith to reach out to You. Open my heart to receive you. Help me to fall into Your divine embrace and experience Your power and love. Amen.
[i] (Information from http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Seattle-dogs-rush-hour-ride-on-the-bus-by-herself-weekly-288345081.html)