I was not present when Stella’s puppies were born. They were delivered naturally, an oddity. English Bulldogs often experience birth by Caesarian Section because their puppies’ heads are so large.
I could have stayed home for it. Instead I was at work, on an inconsequential day, doing inconsequential things. I could have taken a personal day which would have allowed me to witness the miracle of animal birth. The only other time I had been present for that sort of miracle was for the assisted birth of a calf. But this time I allowed first things to be submerged beneath second things. I stayed stuck in my own personal mire of stupidity and put the unimportant ahead of a first thing.
After warning about what “the woman who makes a dog the centre of her life” loses (a warning I will endeavor to heed, Professor), C.S. Lewis wrote, “You can’t get second things by putting them first. You get second things only by putting first things first.” [C.S. Lewis, “First and Second Things”, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, The Collected Words of C.S. Lewis (Inspirational Press, 1996 p. 490.]
Don’t cheat yourself out of the significant events God places before you. It would have been so easy for me to be present with Stella that day, to watch what only God can do. If you have a chance to celebrate creation, a chance that does not cost any first thing of your life or the life of another, do it. Let’s not sit around and regret closed doors, doors that were open for a brief moment, doors we allowed to close while we did the mundane. There are few daily tasks that cannot be made up later.
The world makes terrible demands on us. And yes, there are duties which we must fulfill. The rest are choices. Lord, help us to choose well.
©H.J. Hill 2016 All Rights Reserved.