What My Dog Taught Me About Satisfaction

Photo by C. Lutke

Our dog, Titus, has a few favorite humans in his world. My husband and I, and two of my close girlfriends. This weekend, we were scheduled to take our morning walk with one of them.

We headed out the garage door and made our way across the open field. As we neared the sidewalk, I mistakenly told Titus that Karen, one of those FAVORITE humans, would be joining us. From the moment he heard “Karen,” the pull was on!

For the next mile, he tugged and lunged, eyes searching the roadside to find his friend. Until we rounded the corner and he caught a glimpse of her crossing the street. He could not contain himself – the moans and grunts erupted and the pulling would not stop until he was at Karen’s feet.

Doggy kisses and paw hugs ensued and if tails could talk, Titus’ would scream – “I MISSED you SO much!”

As we walked, Titus investigated every scent left by animal and man. Occasionally he looked back in our direction just to confirm we were following, keeping pace. He moved from one side of the path to the other until eventually, we made our way to the end of the trail. We stopped where path meets road to say our goodbyes.

Titus danced excitedly at Karen’s feet and as we parted, he kept looking back until we turned the corner and she disappeared from his view. He looked up at me, his brown eyes fixed and steady, and if dogs could talk, I am certain he would say, “I’m satisfied.” I encouraged him, “Let’s go home,” he turned, made a left at the top of the hill, and took us home.

I have been thinking about Titus’ interaction with Karen. From the moment I mentioned her name, he made every possible effort to get to her, he was focused. Once he saw her, his efforts intensified. He was determined. And once he made it to her feet and walked with her along the path, he was satisfied.

Focused.

Determined.

 Satisfied.

I think I do focused and determined pretty well. The start of a new project, a new job, a new adventure – I’m focused. Making certain no detail is missed, organizing, coordinating, and checking each item off the list. If I run into challenges or roadblocks, I find ways to push through – I guess you can say I’m determined, but satisfied…

Satisfied is complicated.

Focused and determined are both things I can influence. Things I have the power to improve.

However, satisfaction is something received – the contentment that comes after the need has been met. And the assumption is that when you’ve obtained satisfaction, you don’t need anything more.

I seem to achieve satisfaction only to lose it again. My insecurities, perceived inadequacies, my wants, and desires all build and I become anxious, start striving, tugging, pulling – a frustrating cycle that moves me from satisfied to wanting more.

So perhaps being truly satisfied, is not about what I do (being in control) and more about what I don’t do.

In the book of Matthew, chapter 11, the author writes,

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

New Living Translation (NLT)

I think this verse is telling me to bring all that striving, my need to be more and do more, my insecurities, and inadequacies to Jesus and He will give me rest – satisfaction. Perhaps, as I think about it, He is the only true source of contentment.

Each time Titus hears the name of one of his favorite humans, or sees a car that looks like theirs, or hears their voices, that focused determined behavior repeats.

Until…

He sees them, touches them, and then he can rest.

I want that same focused determination to drive me to my heavenly Father in anticipation of the rest He will provide. And once there, I want to let go. Let go of my striving. Let go of my need for more, and instead rest.

I pray dear BeLOVED, that you do the same. That you find lasting satisfaction in the only One that can provide it – Jesus.

Be Blessed,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s