I wanted another dog. More specifically I wanted Gus; the 90 pound Weimaraner featured on the rescue sight as the perfect dog. I wanted him, and I got him.
But he is not the perfect dog.
He doesn’t chew (as the website promised), he de-stuffs. Forget marijuana, this dog can smell synthetic fibers from a mile away. His first month with us, I nightly battled his ravenous appetite for the comforter on my bed. The stuffing taunted him from the inside, testing his stamina. I finally relented, allowing him to remove every last puff of white. I now have a duvet cover on my bed . . . minus the duvet.
Last night I left Gus inside while I went to work. I also left the window open. Two hours later, I returned home to find Gus in the backyard and the window screen shredded. I’d like to think that he chased off a burglar, but suspect that there was probably a squirrel involved.
Gus prefers the passenger seat. I sit in the back, while he holds hands with my husband in the front. Gus prefers the bed. When my husband comes home from swing shift, Gus wraps his paws around me and growls until my husband resigns to the couch. Gus prefers fine cuisine. He ate four pounds of chicken off the counter for dinner. The kids had PB&J.
Gus is not the perfect dog. He isn’t even a good dog, but I wanted him. I still want him. Not once have I considered shipping him back, asking for a refund, crying “false advertising.” He is my dog. I wanted him, and we will work it out.
To want and be wanted is a powerful thing. In some ways it is the beginning and end of relationships. It is the determination needed to love without condition.
Want is the reason for everything. God was, and all was well, until He created. Why did He create? Because He wanted us. We are the reason that all things came into existence. Why the garden then? Why temptation? Why sin? He wanted us, but we also had to want Him. In the days of Noah the heart of God was grieved because the heart of man desired evil all the time. He wanted us, but we wanted other things. So Why Jesus? Because we are not the perfect dog. Still God want us.
There are these words that haunt me . . . “It’s okay if you leave . . . If you want to go that’s fine . . . it might be better.” I cannot reconcile them. They force a lump into my throat and press tears into the corner of my eyes . . . they pound into my brain this panicked reminder that we are not wanted there. Still we remain, because we want to stay. No pain exceeds the rejection of wanting to be, and yet not being wanted.
It is strange then to think of the power we have towards the heart of God. He wants us. He gave up perfect harmony and unity to create and be with us. Yet we reject Him, and His heart is sorry. He feels the pain of wanting and not being wanted.
Still our unfaithfulness is easily reconciled. Though we may stray, choose other things, bail out on Him, He never repents of His desires for us. We do not face a single day of unwanted.
Sure we might not get the job we applied for, might face the betrayal of friends, the departure of loved ones. We might even hear “It’s okay if you go, it won’t bother me.” Rejection on earth is imminent, but you are always wanted in heaven. As Jesus prayed in His final days: Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! And when we experience the desire He has for us, we cannot help but respond as David did:I pray to you, O LORD. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
It is good to be wanted. It is even better to be wanted by God.