Shea is worried about her visa, and it’s proving very distracting for her. She was too busy Thursday morning sending an email to the British consulate to give me breakfast at the proper time… (And for your future reference, when stress gets the best of breakfast, it’s become much too serious and there must be an intervention… or at least some kibble). In any case, while I was waiting for my food, I thought I’d explore this topic of stress a bit further.
Being a guide dog can be stressful. I’ve got a lot to worry about. Why? Because the entire success of my job depends on my ability to keep my mom alive and uninjured on a daily basis. That’s a big responsibility!
And the thing is, it’s not like we’re dancing through fields of daisies every day kind of protection. It’s like, “there is a giant bus coming straight for us and I have to get us out of the way now!” kind of protection. Yeah! And you thought you had worries!
Still, traffic checks have been so drilled into me that I deal with those situations with pure instinct. I don’t have time to worry. It’s a split second decision to figure out how to keep us breathing, and whatever that looks like, I do it. There are other aspects of my life and career that worry me more. It’s those times when Mom is on the floor sobbing hysterically about the horrors of sophomore year (and they are horrifying. We’ll tell you about them sometime), or when she is on the floor comforting someone else sobbing hysterically about the horrors of sophomore year, or when she ends up in the hospital for two and a half days for emergency surgery (yep, that happened)
On a slightly less catastrophic scale though, there are those moments when Shea and I are traveling in an unfamiliar area, and Shea gives me confusing directions (because she doesn’t know where she’s going. If she would just let me take the leash I’d be where we needed to go in no time)… or when she tells me to find the piano in a room full of people watching us (for juries and other performances. Seriously, you have no idea how much pressure that is).
Of course, in all of those situations, it’s not just me that’s worried… it’s Shea as well, and with a relationship as close as our’s, it’s a given that her emotions are my emotions, and vice versa. That’s two times the stress, folks. In dog therapy circles that’s called “unhealthy”.
But there is Good News. Amidst all this worry, there is a God, a sovereign King, the ultimate pack leader who cares deeply about us, and our stress levels. In the book of Psalms (Psalm 55:22) God’s Word tells us to “Cast your burden on the Lord , and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
In First Peter 5:6-7, we are reminded to, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Whether you are guiding your blind owner on a busy city street, overwhelmed with school work, fretting for a loved-one in the hospital, performing on a stage, waiting for a decision on a visa application that will decide the fate of your mission trip, your worries have not gone unnoticed. God knows our troubles, and He wants us to place them in his hands, because He loves us. He does not want us to be burdened with the cares of the Earth, but focussed on the joys of Heaven.
So God’s asking us to trust Him. He wants to bless us with the gift of less stress… and I guess it’s time we said yes.