I have to confess that Carl was not the dog I wanted. I wanted the brown female dog that had died when her mother rolled on top of her. But knowing it could take a long time before a brown female was born, my husband and I settled on the fawn colored male.
Earlier in my life I had owned a male dog and found him harder to train and just didn’t bond with him. So when we brought Carl home, I knew that I had to have an open mind and a willingness to cultivate the relationship.
Before working with Carl, I had to cultivate positive thoughts about this little puppy. So instead of focusing on Carl’s obnoxious behaviors of constantly nipping everyone who walked in the door, howling in the middle of the night and marking his territory, I shifted my thoughts to how much joy he was bringing to my family and friends.
I had to be intentional with this cultivation. My thoughts towards this little Frenchie had to be positive and encouraging. When a negative thought came fleeting through my mind, I had to transform it into a hopeful outcome.
After four years with this little dog, I have realized that nothing worth having in life will come easily. The most precious things will take time and effort. Each meaningful relationship, career, and hobby has taken a lot of cultivation to witness a bountiful harvest.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4 states it beautifully:
To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
As we cultivate our lives, we need to be attentive to the specific timing that God has created for our unique lives. If we try and rush the outcomes, we will lose out on the harvest that God is creating for us.
So as I write these words and think about my little dog, I know that there will always be more cultivating to do. And that is fine with me.