If you are a pet owner and bathe your dogs at home...you know that as soon as the bath is over, your precious is going to run all over the house with more energy and enthusiasm than is characteristic. I don't know if it is the invigorating feeling of knowing that they no longer smell like "dog" for a brief point in time or if they are just so happy that the bath is actually over...but my two sprint through the house like they are all jacked up on Diet Mountain Dew and Skittles.
Of course, I pretty much get the same thing from them if they figure out that the invisible fence is REALLY invisible...as in..."not working." Occasionally the batteries in their collars run down, or Big Dave cuts the wire somehow while mowing the grass and they don't get the "beep" or the warning buzz...and off they go. Bear in mind that the wires to the fence have been cut and spliced more often than Joan Rivers...so the fence actually being on or not is generally a crapshoot. Most of the time, they never know.
Rebel usually avoids the edges because he isn't entirely sure where he stood last time that the fence lit him up. In his little canine brain...we are all trying to kill him...so he just stays as far away from the perimeters of the beeping as he can so that he doesn't go postal. Dixie, on the other hand, will sit at the edge of the fence's boundaries and attempt to run her collar battery down by sitting where the collar will beep but doesn't shock her. I swear she knows. We actually yell at her more for doing this than attempting to leave the yard. If they do leave the yard...it is to go next door and romp around at "Miss Vicki's" house with her two dogs and act like they never want to come back home. Ever.
There is something about being unleashed. That feeling that you are running toward Lord knows what...but not because someone or something is chasing you. Just getting out of your comfort zone and blasting away toward something new and exciting just because it is out there...and you can.
Don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan of the status quo and I have a deep appreciation for people who have helped me get from point A to point B in life. I take nothing for granted because I know how quickly life can turn on a dime. But every now and again...I just want to head out in one direction or another just for the change of scenery.
I suppose that everyone is like that to some degree. We all have these ideas of what we want to do in life based on our gifts, talents and abilities. By the way, those aren't really the same thing, you know. Okay, maybe they are in some thesaurus...but not in my world.
"Gifts" are something unique to us that other people recognize and encourage us to use but we don't always understand what it is other people are seeing because we have done absolutely nothing to acquire whatever it is that other people think is so special. Gifts are God-given...and as such...should be employed as He directs. "Talents" are something that we have a greater than average inclination in once we explore it...most often because we enjoy it...but are different from "gifts" in that we have to work at it a bit. We may be talented...but we have to work to showcase that talent. "Abilities" are something that we possess naturally but that require something of us...time, training, work, or all of the above....to fully employ. It is all about converting raw material into something unique and wonderful.
Just as an example: I have the ability to spell well. I have a talent for writing. I have a gift for putting something that impresses me into words that other people can relate to easily. (Or so I'm told. I had to study spelling words to be proficient. I have to write - practice - to get better. I do write the way that I do because God chose to give me that gift.)
Or my mother: She has the ability to memorize lines easily. She has a talent for acting. She has a gift for fully embracing the character that you get all into the production. (She is truly wonderful, by the way.)
You know how you figure out the difference? People tell you. They will either promote, appreciate, or admire what it is that you do. If you have to do most of your promotion...then at best...it is a talent.
Being unleashed is a wonderful feeling. It is invigorating and freeing and awesome. But eventually...someone is going to get the leash, put it on your collar, fuss at you a little bit, and take you back to where you belong.
At least that's the way it works for Dixie and Rebel. And...sadly...for most of us.
All of us need people in our lives who give us the freedom to run...so that we can discover our gifts, talents and abilities. If we think back...we can remember those people who told us we were smart, funny, talented, or able to be more than we thought we could...or they'd enrourage us to overcome something that in retrospect was at a critical time along the way.
And if we know people - and all of us do - we have the ability to see something great in each of our friends. We can promote, support, and help them grow into whatever it is God has planned for them. After all...that's one of the main reasons we exist. We're here to help each other.
Maybe you need to be unleashed...and need to know that folks have your back. Or perhaps you just need to know that someone cares enough about you to make sure that you find your way home if you ran ahead of everyone a long time ago. Whatever it is...I hope that you get as excited about your life and what is in store for you as my two dogs are after a bath or a brief visit to Miss Vicki's.
Hopefully, even more so. Although they do get pretty excited about all that...
Go ahead...give it a go. See what happens.
That's what I'll be doing.