Barking at turtles.

by Jennifer Dyer

My Labrador Retriever is at war…with a tiny box turtle. She discovered the unwelcome intruder a few days ago in the yard–her yard–and hasn’t stopped obsessing over the invasion since. Each time she goes out, she sniffs around until she finds Ted the turtle, as I have named him. Upon discovery, she digs Ted out of his hiding spot, places him on the deck, then barks at him. (Ted stays silent in his shell and has no comments to add.)

Why? Part of her frustration lies in Ted’s inedible nature. She tried to eat him, yes, but couldn’t get through his shell. Being a hunting breed, she’d at least like to play chase, but turtles aren’t good for that either. In her doggy brain, little things should play, be eaten, or provide entertainment. A turtle tucked into its shell doesn’t deliver.

How about you? Do you waste time barking at turtles? Watching Missy’s war on turtle-kind, I realize I am a turtle barker. I allow what I can’t change to get to me. I also spend energy on things I cannot change and do not need to. I allow frustration of daily life to get in the way of enjoying what goes on around me.

As an example, instead of raging against Rachel’s autism, I can enjoy the simple and earnest way she loves me. Does that mean I give up therapy and the like? No, but I must focus on the long-term and not the frustration I may feel at the moment.

So, today, I want to enjoy what goes on around me instead of focusing on the negative. Unlike my dog, who refuses to celebrate the simple pleasure of watching Ted lumber his way across the yard, I want to enjoy my moments instead of raging against what tries to rob my joy.

So, my friends, may your day be filled with joy in the moments God grants.

What robs your joy?

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