Scotties, though sometimes stubborn, are adaptable. They ultimately let me be in control of any given situation. They like a routine, as we all do. Scotties also want to know what to expect and what is expected of them—just like kids and employees. That said, when we have traveled with our Scottie pack they have quickly adapted to each new situation, listening for my guidance and making the best of each new location.

Scotties trust me but they can still be willful. The pups always are ready to remind me if I have forgotten to give them something they expect, such as dinner number one at about 3 p.m. They get dinner number two — their daily fresh vegetables with goat’s milk yogurt as salad dressing — when we sit down for our dinner. This means they don’t like it when we go out to dinner and they are left at home. The reason I like Scotties so much is because they are a lot like people. People like having some routines and we don’t want our goodies disturbed or denied.

Letting go of control is difficult for Scotties and people. Yet it is something we are advised to do as we grow in our closeness to God. He knows what we need and if we have faith He will give us the essentials —“our daily bread” — and much more without being asked.

If you have ever been a parent, you know how some children fight you for independent control. Those who used to be called “willful children” spend their youth constantly trying to control everything around them. Part of their challenge is ignorance. They haven’t lived long enough to know how many things can go wrong and how much danger there is in the world — COVID-19 for instance — that they don’t understand.

Willful children often grow up to be domineering bosses. They are generally very intelligent, yet their obsessive desire for total control becomes their undoing. I’ve watched a domineering boss destroy relationships with intelligent, creative employees whose creativity is thwarted by the manager’s obsessive interference.

I recently had the opportunity to observe a similar situation and it reminded me of the importance of what I’ve been reading in my pursuit of greater faith and understanding. Books I’ve recently read stress the importance of letting go of control and giving God a chance to make our lives wonderful.

How often do we pray for a specific thing to be done for us? Most of the time, I’ll bet. Yet here is God, all-seeing and all-knowing, aware that there is something even better for us than what we are asking for; if only we would trust Him and give up trying to control even Him.

God is our Father. Do you see the similarity as a parent? The kids think they know everything and will demand something specific, yet as parents we have many more years of experience. We know that what they want at this moment won’t be the best for them in the long-term. God is called “Our Father” because He is the perfect parent for all of us. He can see the entire past and future. That perspective gives Him a viewpoint we will never have.

I’m learning to listen. I’m letting God be in control. In these crazy times I’ve turned my future over to Him.  I’m now more at peace and my body, which has gone through cancer twice, is much healthier than it was five years ago. I pray for His love, support and guidance in the lives of family, friends and myself, but I’m no longer asking for specific help.

I let God lead, in the same way my Scotties give me control to keep them happy and safe.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21