Puppy Command of the Month: Wait

Freddy is still gaining about 4 pounds each week and continues to amaze me with his intelligence and personality. He's to the point now in his development where I can take him wherever I go.

Our command of the month is Wait. It's the command that instructs him not to cross a threshold. To begin teaching it, we walk up to a doorway. When Freddy reaches the edge of the threshold, I turn in front of him to block his progress and tell him "Wait." Of course, when he waits, I praise him. Once he does this consistently, we work on it at greater distances while waiting for longer periods. When he's in service, he'll need to be able to wait on command at a doorway, on top of a table, at a curb or incline, in his kennel or at any threshold while up to a leash length away for someone who may confined to a wheelchair or have other mobility challenges.

Personally, I've never been good at waiting. I prefer immediate gratification. Thus the most difficult aspect of my "rehabilitation" here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp has been the constant force feed of patience. Nothing ever happens here quickly. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

In a Bible study here recently, the discussion leader pointed out that we often confuse patience with tolerance. Tolerance is a sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices that differ from mine. I have to tolerate most of the people here, and there's certainly nothing wrong with tolerance. But that's not exactly the same as patience, which is acting or thinking without haste or impetuousness. Patience is waiting, and preferably waiting for a reason.

Much of my own relationship with God involves waiting. In that way, I'm not unique. The Bible relates countless stories of men and women who waited on God to act. Waiting is a foundational component of sacrifice, as we give up something now while waiting for something better later. Isn't the essence of Christianity that something even better awaits? Some might call that faith, which is more an action verb than a noun. The apostle Paul explains it better here.

So wait, but wait with purpose...just like Freddy.