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“What convinces is conviction. Believe in the argument you’re advancing. If you don’t, you’re as good as dead. The other person will sense that something isn’t there, and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you.” – Lyndon B. Johnson 1908-1973, Thirty-Sixth President of the United States
This is the second post about a dog we had for years, Mick.
When we would go for walks or runs, he had to mark his territory – EVERYWHERE! He would continue even after he was out of “marking material”! It didn’t bother him, he continued to expand his territory by marking trees, grass, stones, gravel, other dog’s markings and more.
As I observed this behavior over the years I reflected, “How like us humans that is!” We want more – doesn’t really matter what it is, we want more of it. Doesn’t matter if we can’t afford it, we still want more. It really doesn’t even matter if we’ll never use it – we want MORE!
Our kids often performed in the Christmas musical at our church. One year they sang a song that went something like this: “I want a bicycle. I want a truck. I want a new pair of shoes. etc. etc.” The last line of that song they sang was, “I want everything I see.”
Here’s the difference between us and Mick, and all the other dogs of the world – while marking and expanding their territory is routine for them, we can choose to stop the bleeding. We can make a conscious choice to live within our means, or even below our means, so that we can actually save a few dollars. Dave Ramsey says it this way, “Live like no one else today so that later you can live like no one else.”
Have you made the choice to live within your means? Or are you more like Mick, expanding your territory when you’re fresh out of “marking juice”? Choose today so you’ll have a better tomorrow.
You’ll be glad you did.
A few years ago I had considered writing a book about the exploits and things learned from our dog, Mick. He was a rescue dog. In fact, we were able to bring him home from “death row” at the shelter where he was being housed.
When he and I were both younger, we would go on early morning runs together – something we both enjoyed. As the years went by our daily runs became daily walks and when he became increasingly weak those daily walks turned into “once-every-so-often” walks. But we both continued to enjoy them just the same.
Over the years together I learned that we had a lot more in common than I earlier had thought. Over the next six weeks I’d like to share with you some of the lessons I learned from/with Mick. So here’s the first installment.
1 – Though on a lead, he often wanted to go his own way.
As I would put on my running shoes and gather up his lead Mick would grow more excited. We would connect, head out the door and begin our morning run. Everything would go great until he decided that he was no longer tethered to me by the aforementioned lead. Wanting to go his own way, he would begin to dart in that direction until the lead went taut. He would cough and catch his breath as I would try to recover from being nearly pulled/knocked off my feet.
It only took a few of those moments for me to realize that we humans are very similar in the way we do things. We’re running along, hand-in-hand with our Creator, enjoying life and the run when for some reason we think we know better and decide to run off in a different direction.
Unfortunately, it usually takes us a bit longer to realize that we’ve gone “off course” than it did Mick. And rather than just cough and wheeze a bit we suffer more severe consequences for choosing our own way. Some never get back “on course.”
So why is that? Why is it that we often get distracted from the “way in which we should go” to follow after something completely different and off course? Part of the answer lies in the fact that to a certain point we are strong-willed and bent on doing what we desire. Fleetwood Mac sang a song about it years ago – “You can go your own way. . .”
We want to do things our own way and go our own way. Even if that means disaster, we often choose to do it anyhow. It reminds me of a stubborn two-year-old who really doesn’t know any better as they exclaim, “No, I want to do it myself!”
Let’s learn from our previous mistakes and the mistakes of others. Let’s not be so prone to being stubborn, but rather follow the lead of the master.
How can you do that today?
The correct location is: Santa Fe, NM. The photo was taken on a trip there earlier this year and is of a local merchant’s ware. We’ll share more photos from the “city different” in the future.
Congratulations to the winner – Robert F. You’ve won a major award (not the leg lamp shown in the earlier picture from the movie)!
We will be contacting you about how to get the major award to you soon.
Thanks to all who participated! Your answers were truly inspiring and provided us with new ideas of places to visit.
Watch for our next contest coming soon to a blog post near you.
Cause they are reading or following this page.