Barking Up The Wrong Tree

My black lab, Berkeley, is a barker. In fact, one of his nicknames with people is “Barkley.” He’s the sweetest dog and not the least bit dominant, but he has a ferocious bark. We like that for the burglar-proofing it does for our house, but really, does he have to bark at every movement?

He’s what I would call an alarmist if he were a person. Every little sound, every little movement, every car door that shuts five houses away, he lets us know about it.

I feel that way sometimes with things I read online, especially on Facebook. Obama is trying to take over the world! The Republicans are out to steal your money! The next phone call you receive could be your last!!!!!!

If I foolishly believed everything I read, I would be in a constant state of panic. Thanks be to God that my future is not in the hands of either political party. I would surely be doomed.

As I’m always telling my dog, why don’t you get all the facts before you sound the alarm? Is that car that’s driving down the road turning and stopping in front of the house? Is there actually someone coming to our door, or is that the neighbor in their own driveway? Did the unemployment rate under the Obama administration really quadruple? Is Romney going to call in that alien army to suck out your brains and leave you helpless and in their hands? Is eating potato chips going to give you cancer?

Being rightly informed takes work, and I know that I’m not up for spending hours and hours researching things that, in the end, don’t affect my eternal destiny. Use your brain, but don’t get carried away. Balance is everything.

In Matthew 6, Jesus is quoted as saying, “‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own'” (Matthew 6: 25-34).

Bobby McFerrin understood that. See what he has to say about that in his funky song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

My favorite saying these days is: “It is what it is.” Sometimes, you just can’t change things. Like a rainstorm during a picnic. Or a favorite dish getting broken. There’s really no use getting upset. Look at the weather forecast; move dishes away from the edge of the counters and be careful. Other than that, there’s nothing you can do.

And I really don’t think the world is going to end on December 21st.

Thankful today for:

549. bird song

550. a good school schedule for my eldest

551. a new computer for a good price

552. pressure washing

553. training

554. the excitement of a new school year

555. dishwashers

556. helping hands

557. weekly trash pick up

558. yummy food

559. peaceful negotiations

560. a job well done

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