Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Is it Disneyland?

A few weeks ago, we were on vacation, and our dog was being boarded at our neighborhood veterinarian's office. The vet and his staff have cared for two of our dogs, and is always reliable and trustworthy, so as I tell you this story, know that.

Our dog, Molly, is a beagle. While she was there, there were two other beagles being boarded. Their owner came the day before we were to pick up Molly. Instead of giving him his two dogs, they gave him one of his dogs and our dog, instead of Bud (his dog). Bud is about 10 pounds heavier than Molly, and we think she pulled out of the too loose collar. She ran from him, and he was unable to catch her. 

For the next day, he looked for his dog, and the vet thought they were still caring for Molly. When our son went to pick up Molly, they brought out Bud. Josh recognized the problem, and it was at that point that they realized that our dog was missing. We all started looking. There were sightings and we traced them down. We made fliers and passed them out. 

One evening, two days later, Steve and I were still looking. It was hard to remain hopeful. The sitings of her were near Route 60, a major four lane highway. We walked along the road, calling, giving out fliers to businesses to post. We passed a small building (called a hotel, but it is really a long-term residence for several people), and a stuck a flier on a telephone pole.

The next day, Steve got a call from a man who was crying. He had found our dog, on the side of the road, killed when she was struck by a car. He told Steve when he came out of his room that morning, the flier was at his feet, on the ground. He has a dog, it is "his baby" and when he found ours, he knew who to call.

This is what I think. This is what I believe. God, through God's wind, blew the flier off the poll and deposited it on the ground where this man would find it. God knew this man would care enough to read the flier and to call us. God knew that we were praying for Molly's return, and that we kept searching for her. Truthfully, I'm not sure how we would ever have stopped. Knowing what happened to her was terrible, and we are heartbroken, but still, it is better than not knowing.

I could choose to believe that God was involved, or I could choose to think it was all coincidence.  Frederick Buechner (as published in Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC) says, "There are other agnostics who...have climbed over the mountain" and have only seen the other side of the mountain.  "At least that was all they could be sure of. That faint glimmer on the far horizon could have been just Disneyland."

I think we have to give ourselves permission to believe. We have to choose - will we think it is all a coincidence? Or will we choose to believe that God is involved in our lives, that God loves us, that God is working for our good?

What is your choice?

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