You may know that I have two dogs. One is an adult, and the other is a 7 ½ month old puppy. They are both delightful in their own way, but have very different personalities.
Willow is 4 years old, and she is friendly enough, but she has always liked her own personal space. She prefers to dictate the who, when, and where of petting or other interaction. She likes us, but is slow to show it. Aspen is the growing puppy, and much more outgoing. He has no need for space and greets everyone, all the time, with a happy wagging tail and eager face.
When we first brought Aspen home, I was concerned about how Willow would react, but I had no reason to fear. She was glad for the company, mostly. She puts up with all sorts of jostling, and biting, wrestling and barking with patience and grace. Even when Aspen comes for a toy the minute she lays down to chew on it, Willow is patient and calm as he takes it away. Over and over again.
Despite their differences, they have reached something of arrangement. She has patience with his enthusiasm. He tries to accommodate her reserved nature. They share the joy of exploring the neighborhood in their walks, running and playing together in a friend’s yard, practicing their obedience commands for an endless supply of treats, and watching out the window for dogs, cars and the occasional bunny. And, of course, a good nap.
Who are the people who you share your days with? How are you different? How are you alike? What are the ways you have found patience with each other’s differences? How do you find things that you enjoy together?
We are all blessed and challenged by the companions we have in life. May we notice the ways they enhance our lives and make them richer.
God of life,
Thank you for the people I share my life with.
Family, friends, roommates, classmates, co-workers, neighbors, and more.
Help me to find patience for the ways we are different.
Help me to find ways to love and appreciate them.
Help me to forgive their failings and irritating habits.
Show me the ways they are a blessing
and help me grow in the face of the ways they are a challenge.
Thank you for the good times we share.
Be with us in the struggles.