12.8 Miles Tuesday 11-20-12

Posted on by

( 6.2 MPH avg)  2:10 moving time; 3 hours total time; 45degrees at end, with pouring rain throughout

“The Very Last Run”                                                                                                                So, today I am kicking myself over and over and over again, because I’m making the same mistakes over and over and over again.  It seems the harder I try to get things right, the more easily frustrated and disappointed and critical I am with my team.  Yesterday at work I got to hang out with one of our trainers as we assessed a litter of Goldens, and on the way back talked with her a bit about some of the difficulties I’m having with my team, especially not pulling up hills and looking back at me instead of working harder to get moving.  Then I had a wonderful talk with Margaret about training for the race, and I found myself bound and determined to work hard on some of these issues tonight… bound and determined, I say! 

So, eventually we hit the trail… I won’t go into much detail about how  the ferry was late due to weather and then I had to spend time repairing several harnesses before leaving the house.  I was about to get the dogs out of the truck to harness and realized I left my gangline hanging up to dry at home and had to drive back home to get it, and then stop for gas before coming back out, which put me on the trail right around 11:30pm !  It seems I had some opportunities to work on my patience tonight, even before the dogs were on the line!

On the ferry ride home, I had written this, “Tonight is all about Self-Control (be a Benevolent, Respected Leader who is Quiet and whispers commands) and Patience!  I want to work on Team Performance and Cohesiveness”

Yeah, uh, that didn’t quite work out the way I had played it in my brain!  What really happened was Galena specifically ignored my attempts at quiet commands and darted off the trail and sniffed around and pretty much “thumbed” her nose at me.  Tana quickly joined in on this game, enjoying herself fully, as usual.  So, I thought I’d deal with this swiftly and actually demoted both of them before we even made it a mile.  I decided to “reward” Cicely for her hard work and put her up front with Lance.  I’m not sure now why I thought this would be a reward for her…Lance just really really doesn’t like leading, and pretty much demands the right to turn around and look at me and/or come back to me instead of staying lined out, which frequently tied Cicely up with the line.  They were not working well together, which meant it was harder to keep the line tight and Galena and Tana teamed up beautifully to keep running them down, causing further tangles.  I had to make another change, and promoted Tkope up front with Cicely and put Lance back with Tozi.  That seemed to make things run a bit smoother, but now I had two green leaders that I was pressuring to behave as if they had been doing this for years.  What was I thinking?  They managed to get the team down the trail quite smoothly, but I’m sure it wasn’t as much fun for them as it should have been, and I could hear my whispers becoming louder and more insistent.  I also found myself really angry with Galena (everything that goes “wrong” seems to be her fault since so much rides on her as my main leader… totally unfair even if it is mostly true!) and  I was becoming equally angry with Tana (for following her instead of rising above it and showing her how a leader is supposed to act!), and as I walked by them I didn’t even want to pet them, and in fact wanted to intimidate and bump them out of the way, as if this would lead them to respecting me.  Uh, bad idea that I knew was a bad idea and yet it just came so naturally.  Oh Lord, how can You love me?

My other goal for the night was to not get off the ATV… at all.  I knew that was going to be almost impossible for me, and I found myself a bit unsure of what to do when they stopped.  Again, it all played out so differently in my head as I was planning out my approach… they seemed quite happy to just stand there!  When I was patient, they tended to just start wandering around or worse yet, come back to me or take a wrong turn while I was waiting them out.  So, I had to get off to go direct them in the appropriate direction instead of allowing them to continue to ignore me.  I found myself rocking the ATV backwards which led them to lean into their harnesses, and then heard some crazy lady yelling, “HHHIIIKKKEEE” over and over until they finally collectively pulled together to start us rolling again.  At one point I was so frustrated and angry with them… they KNOW BETTER, I thought!  And, that’s probably right, but getting angry and acting unlovingly and impatiently is NOT the way to train them to do what I want.  It IS the way to train them to not trust the crazy lady in the back.  I KNOW BETTER… and still can’t seem to pull it off….. hmmmm, kind of like my team.  Why is it that I continue to expect so much from them when I can’t do any better learning my own lessons?  Three little letters sum it up…S I N.  Oh Lord, how can You love me?

Eventually they got the idea that the crazy lady really wasn’t going to get off the ATV tonight for some reason (man, is she unhelpful), and after probably an hour of struggles, they were pulling much better up hills.  I gave Tkope and Cicely a break from playing the Lead Roles, and replaced Galena and Tana into this, their favorite position.  I was still quite frustrated with them, and Galena just ignores me, which serves to frustrate me more.  Now, let’s think about this a bit… if I was the wonderful dog trainer I spent time with earlier, she would say that maybe she’s not ignoring me, maybe she’s unsure what I want and is shutting down a bit in her confusion.  I’d say I think there’s some truth to that.  I love this little girl SO MUCH, and yet she pushes my buttons like no other.  She is SO SWEET and yet I find myself wanting to just scream at her sometimes.  So when we turned down White Point Rd in the pouring rain, I was pretty happy with how they were starting to listen and work together.  My headlamp was dimming significantly, so I thought it best to turn around before reaching the end of the road and pulling into someone’s driveway instead of staying on the road.  We were almost back out on the main road when Galena and Tana DOVE off the trail again, in full HUNT MODE.  I was not about to let them find another furry victim and FLEW off the ATV and grabbed their tugs and then their harnesses and roughly put them back up front, where they promptly did NOT stay.  They completely ignored my attempts at being a “Benevolent Leader who is Quiet and whispers commands” and once again kept trying with all their might to head off the trail into the grass.  I was on the ground, my boot stuck in the mud, soaking wet grabbing them with all my strength and found my breathing was completely out of control, more from exasperation than physical fatigue.  I was so angry!  Okay, let’s think about this with a non-emotional brain… they are SIBERIANS, we are running at NIGHT when ALL THE CRITTERS ARE OUT, and they just tasted raccoon blood a couple weeks ago… why on earth would I imagine that just because I love them that they’re going to ignore their instincts (something they are powerless to do at that point anyway) and obey the crazy lady?  Yeah, I don’t imagine that is a very reasonable expectation.   So, when they ignore me, what is the appropriate response from a “Benevolent Leader”?  Calmly body blocking them and simply waiting for them to “leave it” would have worked just fine, without all the grabbing of their harnesses and lifting them off the ground and placing them back up front just long enough for them to dart off again.  Oh Lord, how can You love me?

Lord, I so need Your Holy Spirit to change my inward heart and primitive reactions to things not going my way.  I need to remember that I AM NOT SOVEREIGN… You are, and You allow things to happen in a certain way for my good and for Your glory.  I obviously want and need to have better self-control and FORGIVENESS for my amazing, sweet team, not to mention the people You bring into my life.  Tana knew in no uncertain terms that I was not happy with her at that moment but she actually was still wagging her tail.  THAT’S FORGIVENESS!  Oh Lord, how can they love me?

Yet another night of lessons (that my team got to teach ME, when I thought I was out there to teach THEM!)… another night of humility from seeing my sinful heart and how easily it gives way to sinful actions.  Tonight was another example of how incapable I am of living out the kind of attitudes that I desire… I am, IN MYSELF, COMPLETELY UNABLE to “will” these things into being.

Mark 14:38 Keep awake and watch and pray [constantly], that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

I spent more time in mental preparation for this run that perhaps any other, and how far did it get us?  Less than a mile down the trail!  Oh Lord, how can You continue to forgive me for the same sins in my life?  I KNOW BETTER, and yet how much time did I spend in spiritual preparation for my run?  Certainly not enough!  Instead I looked within at my determination, “good ideas”, recent learning about better dog training and firm plan.  Yet none of those things had an ounce of POWER in them!  All the determination I can generate comes so very short of what’s needed to treat my team with the LOVE that I desire, to train them with the same FORGIVENESS that I seek from you for my sins and failures, and to approach them with JOY and ENCOURAGEMENT that fleshes out the teachings from Your Son and Your Spirit and Your Word.

“… in sweet, gentle living, in patience, in kindness, in thoughtfulness, in purity and simplicity of life. The disciples had seen all these beautiful things in their Master, day after day–but they had not dreamed that these were divine revealings; that in them, He was revealing God!”  J. R. Miller

It is not only a daunting dream that I have of doing right by my dogs and training them into a cohesive team, it is an IMPOSSIBLE ONE without YOUR EDIFYING and ENABLING and CHANGING of my rocky heart into a moldable heart. I NEED YOUR HELP!

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out oftheir flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God]

Philippians 4:13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]

As I approach this team (my kids) and this sport of mushing, I see how it is FAR MORE than just a past time or worldly pursuit.  This sport, these beautiful creatures are being used by YOU to teach me PROFOUND TRUTHS, and all in the very best way for me personally and uniquely to learn them.  You are teaching me, PATIENTLY teaching me AGAIN and AGAIN, never giving up on me or deciding to leave me lost by myself, in myself, on the wrong trail with no hope of ever seeing Your Face in Eternity… with no hope of becoming more like Your Son while still here in the world.

1 John 3:2…but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.

I need to learn to lean hard on YOU (see quote at end of today’s writing), learning how VITAL it is for me to look OUTSIDE OF MYSELF for each step I take IF I WANT THIS JOURNEY TO PLEASE YOU AND GLORIFY YOU AND BLESS OTHERS.  I need to learn, to really really learn how WEAK I AM IN MYSELF!  I still sinfully believe I can handle most things on my own.  I seem to think that I really only need You now if I want to be really holy, but that since I’m saved, I’m really holy enough… I’m “okay” just like I am.  OH THE SINFULNESS THAT REIGNS IN MY BLACK HEART!  What ungratefulness lives in me for ALL You have given me, for the Blood of Your Perfect Son, for Your REPEATED and even CONSTANT forgiveness that has been earned by Jesus for me… How can I feel so “entitled” and take it all so much for granted?  It is embarrassingly simple… I am saved, but I am and will always continue to be SINFUL… FULL OF SIN… as long as I am in this world.  You see my heart as clean ONLY because You view me through Jesus, but the reality is that it is FILTHY, HARD, BLACK, DISEASED, DEAD, ROTTING, EVIL… STILL.  It takes so little for my sin to rise up and show itself, even all these years after first coming to Christ in Your Gift of Faith.  Until the second that I die and leave this world, I will be in COMPLETE NEED OF YOUR KEEPING and would instantly be LOST without Your Love and Forgiveness.

Mushing shows me some of the worst parts of my sinful heart, as I am blessed, so very blessed, to interact and share my life with such SWEET, PRECIOUS beings.  Oh how desperately I need the Holy Spirit at ALL TIMES!  May You please bless my precious team for forgiving me, and may You please teach me to be that perfect combination of Gentleness, Firmness, Calmness and  Trustworthiness to them, and please enable me to ONLY BE ENCOURAGING to them.  I LOVE THEM SO SO MUCH… Teach me to LOVE THEM MUCH MUCH BETTER, and thereby teach me to Love YOU More and all the people You have graciously placed in my life.

Oh Lord, my one prayer right now is that last night’s run be the very LAST run where I am so forgetful of these truths about how much I need Your Power and Spirit, and where my kids have so many reasons to not trust me or love me.  May EVERY SINGLE RUN FROM HERE ON OUT be an EXAMPLE of Your Love, Your Self-Control, Your Forgiveness, Your JOY… even when things don’t go as “I think they should”, as if I was The Sovereign One!  Cause me to REMEMBER that You truly work all things together for my good and Your Glory, and that my anger or frustration serve only to show how little I believe this truth, and how little I trust You.

May EACH RUN from here on out be one FULL OF JOY and THANKFULNESS for these WONDERFUL GIFTS of FUR, and more importantly, Your WONDERFUL GIFTS OF GRACE! 

 Mushing “On By” Grace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 1 John 3:2 But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him–                              for we shall see Him as He is!”

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline    and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.  

LEAN HARD! CHRIST’S SYMPATHY TO WEARY PILGRIMS                                             by Octavius Winslow (1808 – 1878)                                                                                            “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you.” Psalm 55:22                              It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord.  Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe…  Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, “Cast your burden upon Me and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty. I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary, and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then, is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me! Child of My love! Lean hard!   Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child! I shaped it—I poised it in My own hand… For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers.  So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My own love. Here lay it down!  Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which                            upholds the government of worlds!                                                                                              Yet closer come! You are not near enough… loving me, lean hard!

Category: Uncategorized
Comments are disabled