Saturday, August 28, 2010
Sometimes--most times, actually--when I am in the kitchen cooking or doing some other form of food preparation, Oscar will come clicking in there (nails against the hardwood floor) and station himself either on the mat in front of the sink so he has an unobstructed view of my profile, or on the other side of the kitchen peninsula so that he can make direct eye-contact with me. From either position he will sit on his haunches and stare and stare and stare at me with his sad, pleading doggy eyes . . . as if I never fed him anything in his life.
Except that of course I have, and some of it has been people-food, and that is precisely why he knows he can come to me and silently beg--because he knows me and he knows I love him and that sometimes, if he and food are in the same place at the same time, they might actually get to meet up.
His chances of getting a little taste of something are actually pretty good, particularly if I am utilising eggs or cheese . . . or green beans . . . or avocado . . . Sometimes I don't indulge him; I won't give him anything with tomato or onion or garlic or grapes or chocolate, all of which are reputedly doggy-destructive. It doesn't matter how enthralled he is with the smell of frying onions (and really? who isn't?) . . . I'm never going to give him any. But with most other things I feel that a tiny little bite isn't going to hurt, and it's going to make him really happy.
One day this week Oscar came in when I cracked an egg into a bowl. I almost invariably give him egg. But I kind of wanted to finish making the entire breakfast, so I decided I'd give him a little piece when everything else was ready. He sat hopefully in the kitchen for a very long time, but eventually he must have decided I wasn't going to give him anything this time, because he got up and loped back into the living room. (It's kind of tough for such a little dog with such clicky toenails to lope, but on occasion he still manages it.) I guess he figured if he wasn't going to get his preferred option of some Jenn-food, he was going to take the second best thing and chill out on the comfort of the couch. "Too bad for him," I thought to myself. "I guess he's just not interested enough." If he had stayed in the kitchen, I definitely would have given him a taste, but I wasn't going to go bring it out to him on the couch . . .
That day, he ended up coming back into the kitchen for one more try, which was rewarded. But he doesn't always, so it isn't always. Sometimes he will stay in the kitchen until I clear everything away and return to my computer in the living room, just in case I might decide to give him something. And sometimes he misses out because he isn't patient enough and decides not to stick around.
I got to thinking about it, and started wondering if sometimes praying isn't like that. Some things, I suppose, would be to me what tomatoes and onions would be to a dog--no matter how good I think they "smell," it would not be loving of God to let me have them. But I suspect most things aren't like that, actually. And I wonder how many things I miss out on because I feel God's taking so long to get them ready, and I just assume His answer is no, and He's being a killjoy, and so I go off into the living room to sulk on the couch. I wonder if sometimes God doesn't give me what I ask for, not because it's the wrong thing, but because I have gotten impatient and stopped trusting Him and His timing and taken myself out of the right-place-at-the-right-time.
Maybe not, but I wonder . . .