“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV)
Even though I thought God had cured me of a lot of my perfectionistic qualities, when I’m stressed out, they try to creep back in. This past fall has been a very stressful time in our family’s life. Nothing life threatening or traumatic, just the normal daily living of trying to balance schedules, but stress filled nonetheless.
By now if you’ve been following my blog, you realize that in the midst of busy, we chose to add another family member to our household: a bearded dragon. Well, the one our son chose as his early Christmas present is a squirrely little thing. He is a hatchling but growing fast as they told us he would, and it was recommended that we handle him as much as possible to calm him down and help him acclimate to being held.
Therein is when the problem began. I’m sure that their definition of assimilating him to our home and our touch was different than my definition. I was going to handle him until he was calm! However, truth be told, I’m not the calmest when it comes to handling reptiles so my stress level was through the roof when attempting to calm him down. Despite those odds, I thought things were progressing quite nicely until this past week when he started giving me the stare down – taking on a predatory stance and opening his mouth as though to attack all while fluffing out his beard. That certainly didn’t help with my blood pressure. I was ready to turn him in for a new, calmer model until I realized there are many factors at play here.
One, he’s going through a growth spurt. I believe that makes him hungrier and when I’m hungry, I certainly don’t want to be chased around to “cuddle” – I want to eat! Second, while trying to teach him to calmly sit in my hands, I’ve simultaneously been trying to teach him to eat out of my hand. So… if you were hungrier than usual and this giant hand comes at you, sometimes with food, sometimes not, I’m thinking you might get your signals mixed up as well. Third, I’m not a reptile, I’m still learning how to speak reptile language and I truly don’t know what he’s thinking. He has calmed down some while in my hands for certain periods of time, even so much so that he has closed his eyes and appeared relaxed. I think I need to count that as progress and not be so upset that I don’t have a calm dragon less than three weeks after he arrived in our house.
I also need to focus on changing my tendencies to have everything happen today, or better yet, yesterday when given an assignment. Life doesn’t work that way and honestly, I’m glad it doesn’t. Think of all the joy I would miss if our dragon came to us already trained. I certainly wouldn’t bother to spend as much time with him trying to tame him. I would get lazy and meet his basic needs but there wouldn’t be that goal to have him calm enough to interact with our family when he gets bigger.
I think God allows “slow” on purpose. I need to remember that truth in all areas of my life – whether it’s pursuing a new direction on the journey God has for our family, getting into shape or exercising. While I see time as a hindrance and an obstacle to overcome, I need to see it from God’s perspective instead. The journey is as important as the goal at the end.
I know I’m learning much more about our new family member because of the obstacles associated with domesticating him than I would have otherwise. What was going to be our son’s dragon has become a family endeavor.
I’m so glad God designed life that way. While my perfectionistic tendencies may still rebel at times at taking things slower so I can enjoy the journey, I’m still ultimately glad God planned it that way.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016