Thursday, November 7, 2013

Contentment is Not in a Dog's Name

Contentment is Not in a Dog’s Name
            I have a tendency to want everyone to be happy. Often my attempts result in making no one happy. A case in point is our new puppy, an adorable Labradoodle. I agonized for months over a name for this awaited pup. It needed to be cute, meaningful, and definitely not one I would hear everywhere I went.  I wanted, more than anything for my whole family, and everyone else, to love the name. I was told, rightly, that our sons are grown and we should pick a name for ourselves. But I was not content with that.
            This may be the last dog we ever have, I told myself.  I remembered how the boys always joked about bringing our dogs, Max and Sophie, back to college with them. When coming home again, these two dogs met them with ecstatic wiggles of pure love.  To me our dogs were one more reason for them to want to come home.
            Now that Max has passed, and Sophie is on the older side, we wanted another dog. Here in lies the problem. After weeks of debating, with at first no interest from the boys because he would be a “doodle” not a full “Lab,” we had several names, but no consensus.  Erin, my daughter-in-law, helped with suggestions, too. But I could tell she tried to stay in Switzerland mode. The three young people liked, Ralph, with a maybe on Rigsby. I liked Rigsby but maybe not Ralph. My husband did not like either.
Out of the melee of names I jumped on one I thought we all approved of, Clyde. An, okay name, I thought, and my husband Jon quickly put it on Facebook, making it official.
            But no, apparently the only name that was perfect enough was Ralph.  So, the two names hit the air confusing the puppy, not one bit. He came to everyone.
            So, feeling I had been too hasty, I went back to the very first name we had discussed, the name Zathras. This is a character from the sci-fi series, Babylon 5, that we all seemed to like. I could not be content unless everyone was happy. I did another pole. Yes, the boys conceded the name was, okay. But to them he just looked like a Ralph. Erin thought Zathras was a cute name. Jon, sci-fi lover that he was, of course, loved it.
            A happy ending? No, because once again in my attempt to please everyone, no one is happy, least of all me. If you visit our house you will hear the names Zathras, Zath, Zat or Z, Ralph, Ralphie, Ralphy-Mc-ralpherson, or Ralphers . Our pastor weighed in and has called him Clyde. The boys have split the difference at times and called him Ralphras.
            Contentment is something you decide to have. It’s not something you fix into being. At the Covenant Heights women’s retreat in September one of the talks was on contentment. The speaker showed us that to have contentment we mustn’t give away our confidence with fear, not envy others in what we wish we could do, and especially not allowing what others say effect our contentment.
            When she said, “camp on it” I knew I had my sketch for the sermon. Camp your mind on contentment.  Stop running around trying to solve each lack, or give up on ourselves at every road block. Quit spending time wishing for better instead of holding on to the hope of what God has planned for us.
Timothy 6:6 “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”  
            Zathras, is the name of our dog. I love him, and I am content with his name, even if others disagree. I have confidence in our decision. When others call him Ralph I know they love him, and I will be content with that. Now on to housebreaking!

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