Elizabeth and I celebrated New Years Eve somewhat differently a few years ago. We had the flu! Our swizzle sticks were immersed in chicken soup. When the “ball” finally dropped at midnight, I awoke because of the noise. I nudged Elizabeth and kissed her “Happy New Year”. She grunted, “Oh, yeah…whatever…zzzz.”
It wasn’t all gruesome though; earlier that night Elizabeth had decided to bathe the dogs. (We were “grand-dog” sitting at our daughter’s house). When Elizabeth decides to bathe dogs, they have no choice. One by one the three of them were herded into the hall bathroom. Being the sickest, I shouted encouragement from the living room while I watched the ball game.
When Elizabeth got to Cole, the Rottweiler/Bloodhound-mix puppy (85lbs and Buffalo-sized paws), things got out of hand.
Cole decided to exercise his I want outa here option. He tried to bite the water, the soap, the scrubby-thing and shower curtain. He understood that “nipping” Elizabeth was out of the question, so he just struggled to end the torture as best as he could.
The sounds were amazing. I had expected to hear, “No, Cole. Stop, Cole; Cole, cut that out.” What I heard was high pitched laughter…no words, just Elizabeth’s unmistakable, inimitable laugh. She was having a grand time with Cole, who was giving Elizabeth a really good bath.
Later Elizabeth explained to me that Cole had grabbed the soap bottle with his teeth and flung it across the bathroom. As Elizabeth reached to retrieve it, the pooch got himself half-out of the tub; his back legs were swimming, leaving a wake like the Titanic. With water and suds flying everywhere, my bride was attempting to “re-tub” the front half of the dog, while the back end was objecting. It was an epic struggle!
A few moments after the clatter began Cole emerged from the bathroom with Elizabeth in hot pursuit. She had Cole by his stubby tail with one hand, and a buzzing hair dryer in the other. Cole was getting down the hallway as fast as his legs would carry him, considering he was dragging Elizabeth behind. I don’t know whether it was the hair dryer or Elizabeth’s laughter that scared him the most. I think Elizabeth rather enjoyed the ride!
It is an incredible thing, this joy that won’t be stopped; especially when it is connected to a Rottweiler/Bloodhound mix puppy that won’t be stopped either.
I like joy; I like the genuine kind that starts deep down within and bubbles-up to the surface.
It is irrepressible, unstoppable and it is what Jesus died to bring to our souls – joy unspeakable and full of glory! (1 Peter 1.8)
Take a few moments to check your “joy inventory”. Is anything interfering with that “joy unspeakable and full of glory”? Have you allowed circumstances to override the joy God’s Spirit is attempting to birth in you?