Posted by: Art Heinz | January 15, 2009

Even More Lessons From A Six Pound Toy Poodle

blog-peepoo-picI enjoy getting down on the floor and messing with the family pets. I’ve tormented Tim’s dog Bambi (aka Bam, Granbam, Hazobam, Bamalam, Bamster, you get the picture) for years trying to grab his feet while he tries furiously to withdraw the paw. He’s amazingly agile (even with diminished eyesight, although Kelli thinks he’s just a big faker – he seems to be aware of things he wants to be aware of – kind of like the listening skills and habits of teenagers).

I also enjoy tormenting Peepoo. She loves for me to grab an old sock (she’s a really cheap date) and let her chase after it, back and forth, back and forth until she’s so exhausted she just drops, red tongue hanging from her mouth. This past Christmas Kelli bought her and Bam a goody stocking filled with dog sized toys. One of Peepoo’s favorite toys is a blue and white rope, approximately 1. 5 inches think, knotted with tassels on the ends. I do basically the same thing with the rope that I do with the sock. She loves, however, to bite into the rope. I then begin to twirl her around and around letting the knot pivot between my thumb and index finger.

I’m amazed that she is able to hold on to the rope no matter how many times she twirls and no matter how dizzy she must be – such discipline and such dedication! I noticed that if I throw the rope down the hall after she finally lets go, she’ll chase the rope running sideways down the hall until she finds her prey and then she prances back  for more like royalty in a parade.

The other day we were doing the Peepoo rope twirl and chase when she set off to retrieve the rope. This time, however, her gait was more staggered than usual (impaired by excessive twirling) and with a thud and pathetic yelp she failed to negotiate the corner of the hallway. Dazed, she turned around as if to say, “what did you do to me?” Now, even though she still likes to play with the rope and even twirl a bit, she is extremely reluctant to follow anything I throw down the hall.

That’s just like leadership in general. It’s all about trust. If the people you lead believe that you genuinely have their best interests at heart even though their toes get stepped on occasionally and they too manage to hit the wall sometimes chasing dreams, they will follow and do their best to fulfill their part in God’s redemptive mission. As all of us accept God’s mandate to reach the unreached and tell the untold, and as we all strive to grow in our own leadership, let’s remember to look out after the Peepoos of the church when they tear down the hall running sideways with enthusiasm. Let’s prepare them properly and be available to sound the alarm when things are going sideways.

There’s something on you…it’s the blessing


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