“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”(Eccl. 9:10 NIV)
It was a hot, humid, steamy, Summer afternoon. I had been up doing one thing or another since six in the morning. Now with the dinner dishes done I thought I could finally lay down for a minute and rest my aching back. As I lay on my bed trying to watch a little TV my brain felt heavy and I noticed my eyelids slowly shutting. I was almost asleep when suddenly I felt a blast of hot breath on my face. I opened one eye and saw a long nose covered in gold and white fur, a pair of loving eyes looking at me, and a mouth open, panting happily. Then before I could say anything a wet tongue slurped my chin.
“Fluffy”, I groaned. “Come on boy. You take naps all day long.” My plea to my retriever mix was answered by two more dog kisses totally soaking my face. “Alright! Alright!”, I laughed. I picked up Fluffy’s favorite rubber ball, walked out of my bedroom and threw it down the hallway. Fluffy bounded after it with joy and brought it back to me for another toss. We kept up with the game with throw after throw until my arm felt heavy. But my heart felt light. Then I let Fluffy up on the bed with me for some hugs, belly rubs, and petting. I could feel his love as he cuddled in close. It was such a joy. And then I realized that I wasn’t at all tired anymore.
As relaxing and refreshing as a nap would have been on that hot Summer afternoon, playing fetch with Fluff was even better. Sharing a little joy, a little laughter, and a lot of love with my furry friend not only energized my body, it warmed my heart, and brightened my soul. As I petted my dog I thanked God again for giving us man’s best friend to make our lives better.
God gives each of us only a limited amount of time in this world. Even the longest life here is still too short for all the love we can give and joy we can share. Make sure then that you enjoy each moment you get here, even if it means giving up your nap for a game of fetch.
Joseph J. Mazzella