Priscilla ought to be proud of me. Back in October, when she asked me to help write on her blog, I promised that I would keep stories about my donkey Flash, to a minimum. And I’ve kept my word, mostly because I was worried that fame might go to his (already) enormous head, but also I figured that Going Beyond readers might be too high-brow for his silliness. But since Priscilla and her boys love Flash, I thought maybe you might, too – once you get to know him.
See, Flash showed up at our place one day, and then never left. All attempts to find his rightful owners failed, and the temporary shelter we gave him that first night has turned into permanent residence for the shabby dude. Endlessly entertaining, we consider him “yard art,” a great conversation piece for those times when you run out of things to say in awkward guest situations. “Hey, did you hear about the time Flash turned up at the gate with a haircut?” But that story will be for another day.
Flash has many endearing qualities. His soft brown eyes and white muzzle are able to express his deep thoughts about life, which he’ll reluctantly share over a carrot or apple. Somehow I think he knows quite a bit about the world, borne of his experience with life on the lam before finding us, and life in the back woods and open pastureland since taking up residence here. Affectionate and sweet, he is a sucker for an ear scratch and a good brushing.
But Flash is far from perfect. Like most of us, he has his issues. For instance, he is self-centered and thinks that everything is all about him. He is convinced that the cute mares across the fence are in love with him, and thinks that the whole reason we live in Texas is so that we can house him. He lets us know, in no uncertain terms, when he needs something. We can hear his impossibly loud braying from a quarter mile away. Sometimes he just brays to remind us that he’s there, as if we could forget.
One thing that Flash has a hard time dealing with is change. Not long ago his barn privileges were taken away, and he retaliated by sneaking back in and destroying the sports equipment that took over his stall. He did this many times, and we never could figure out how he got in. He’s stomped on boxes of Christmas decor that were temporarily set by the gate, waiting to be stored, and made a nuisance of himself when new fences were being put up. He likes things just the way they are, and doesn’t like when they change. I guess he’s just stubborn that way.
Like Flash, I find that I balk at change, too. I become comfortable with the status quo and it makes me a little nuts when things start to change. It seems like just when I’m getting used to where God has me and what He has me doing, along comes a new plan of action. Something that’s just outside my comfort zone. It’s a little scary! And just like my silly donkey, I’m having to learn to trust that Someone has a bigger plan than what I can see. I’m learning to rest in the knowledge that God has things in control – and I have no reason to fear. In the same way that we’ve given shelter and care to Flash, my heavenly Father is sheltering me and caring for me, even as He calls me on to new seasons in my life.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
What an awesome promise!
How about you? Are you in a season of change? What is your response when God asks you to do something that is just outside your comfort zone? What have you learned about God when you’ve had to step into new areas of life? I hope you’ll share.