Monday, July 16, 2007

Big Dog, Small Dog

A couple of days ago, I went for a walk in my neighborhood. I thought I was moving along pretty well, especially considering the heat. And the hills. And did I mention I'm not getting any younger...but I digress. Suddenly I was passed by a young woman juggling the leashes of several dogs. Although they weren't quite as different in size as the ones in the above picture (posted on Flickr by jezarnold), they varied from a little dachshund with short legs (sort of like mine) to a Lab.

All of them appeared happy and full of life. Even though the dog-walker was chugging along at a pretty good pace, all the dogs were keeping up. But it struck me how much harder it must be for the dachshund. To cover the same amount of ground, that little dog had to make so many more steps. I thought, if they keep going that way, eventually the dachshund's going to wear out. The Labs will be loping along, hardly breathing hard, and the little dog will just keel over.

I feel just like that dachshund so many times, especially when it comes to writing. I feel like a tiny little thing, running to keep up with the Labs. Most of the time, I don't succeed. I'm worn out and ready to keel over.

You know who the Labs are, right? The folks who make it seem so effortless. The books seem to flow from them every few months, and they publish their very first novel, and they win awards, etc., etc. And then there's me--and maybe you, too. We struggle to find time to write. Struggle to find the energy to write in the face of those rejection letters. Struggle to find the strength to keep running with the Labs.

But you know what? God made dachshunds and Labs, Chihuahuas and Great Danes. He made John Grisham and he made me.

I realized as I watched those dogs bound past me that their walker knows her dogs. She'll know when that little one is getting tired and needs to slow down. Who knows? Maybe she even picked him up and carried him.

God knows how he made me. And he knows when I need to rest. When I need to be carried. He's always done it so far.

Psalm 37:23-24 (New Living Translation):
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. "