Exercising Faith

I enjoyed a walk with my dog, Faith, this morning. I instituted this habit a couple of years ago, when the vet said she was overweight. And yes, I needed exercise, too, for both body and mind. That Faith trimmed down, gained energy, and gets such joy from the walks has kept me at the habit. In winter we generally walk in the evenings and in summer the mornings, trying to beat the heat, which neither of us like.

I think the turn for fall was in the air this morning, because Faith stepped out lively, mostly walking briskly out in front of me in a pleasant manner and for some time without a leash.

Of course, as is usual, about halfway through our walk she began to meander, sniffing her way from one interesting smell to another, leaving me to either walk ahead and return to fetch her, or wait while she’s sniffing her way down in a ditch or at the edge of the wood, or, on occasion across the road.

This is the point where I put the leash on her so that I can urge her onward in the right direction. There are those incidents where a smell will cause her to stop suddenly, and I’m about jerked off my feet–she is, after all, sixty pounds. But generally, on the leash her preferred position is out front. The lead dog on duty, as it were. When Faith is in the lead and I am right behind her, we seem to have our correct places and the walk is easy and pleasant indeed.

On this morning’s walk, I pondered the idea of how much easier I might get through life if my soul faith, like my dear dog, was always out ahead of me, in the lead, rather than the way my faith often is–lagging behind or meandering off in a ditch, or even stopping abruptly.

However, maybe such is the nature of faith growing in a human. I learn and grow as I have to search around, find my faith, and put it to work going in the right direction. I have learned it is best for my faith to be out front in any endeavor. If I’m about to embark on a certain path but faith can’t be found or coaxed out of ditch to go along, then I had best not go. Sometimes I have to wait for faith to not only appear but to grow strong enough to set out on a path. And sometimes I have to round it up and put it on a leash and let it lead.

In any case, faith grows with regular daily exercise. I’m choosing faith this minute as I dare to post these meandering thoughts.

“Faith is like a muscle. It atrophies if you don’t exercise it. Will you be in circumstances that test what you’re made of? Of course! Will it change you? Absolutely.” ~ Candace Cameron Bure

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