I was really trying to be a good mom to my puppy, Murphy. Honestly. He had an ear infection and, while shopping at the grocery store, I found (what I thought) what I thought would be a great toy for him. Who doesn’t love Mr. Bill?
(If you aren’t familiar with old school SNL, you probably don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Search for it online…plenty of videos to watch).
Of course, before I added it to my cart, I had to squeeze it. Yup. It isn’t just a squeaker! It really does say, “Ohhhh Nooooo!” I was entertained and I just knew my pup would be, too.
He was so excited to get his new toy. He proudly carried it in his mouth, gaining speed, shaking his head around with it. Then, he bit down. “Ohhhh Noooo!,” the toy cried. He immediately dropped it and took off running. Away. He was absolutely scared of it. (Ironic, I know).
The rest of his toys squeak. He loves the squeaking sound. But this was different. This was a whole new, unfamiliar sound. I’m not proud to admit that I laughed when he ran away from his scary toy (honestly, it was pretty funny).
The thing is, we all have a tendency to avoid things that are not familiar, that are not what we are expecting. We have lived through several years of tumultuous changes and, frankly, are still facing a whole lot of uncertainty. It sometimes feels like all of the squeakers in our toys have been replaced with new sounds. Scary sounds. Unfamiliar sounds.
Over the past few weeks, he figured out how to bite it without getting to the thingy that makes it talk. He’s also bitten the thingy enough times (and run away from it, many times) that he has finally begun to realize that it isn’t really that scary. It won’t hurt him. Now, he bites it and gets excited when it talks. It is one of his favorite toys.
I imagine we could also name some of the changes we’ve experienced as being good changes – at least, now that we are used to them. We have learned to adapt and, in some cases, to really enjoy the new.
My guess is, we will continue to endure shifts and changes that leave us feeling like we aren’t on solid ground. Life is like that…it always has been. The good news is, we are on solid ground, regardless of what it feels like. We stand firm, knowing God is always with us. Always. We stand firm, knowing God is faithful to God’s promises for us, for our future.
It’s just human nature for our first response to be, “Ohhhh Noooo!” Fortunately, our first response isn’t always predictive of how we ultimately experience the unexpected. Sometimes, it ends up bringing us great joy and becomes our new favorite thing!