Yes, indeed, yesterday had the potential to be like any other day, but that is not how the script unfolded... Since Osa's health has been out of kilter, she has been restless and frustrated in her time of recuperation. I suppose like young people, she isn't used to the idea of mortality. Nevertheless, yesterday morning I determined to take her on a long walk at a nice park. The park I had in mind is located on the rural outskirts of southeast College Station. It is called Lick Creek Park, and the whole idea of the park is to keep it wild and undeveloped. The only manmade development is the series of trails that run throughout the thick forest land. It's a great place to go and take long walks because it truly offers a sense of nature.
So, Osa and I headed out for the trails and enjoyed the solitude that a college student on break can acquire when everyone else is at work. It was wonderful and the weather was just right; the birds were chirping and singing; and truly there was nothing but forest in sight. Prayers glided from my spirit so easily as there was nothing in this "garden" to remind me of corruption. However, about a mile into the forest there arose a great commotion to the left of Osa and me. At first, I thought we would see a deer or two scurry away, but as soon as I stopped and turned I saw something I never would have expected. Running full speed towards us was a coyote, but he was not alone. It shot across the trail to the other side of the woods faster than I could blink. Osa was about a yard from me, and the coyote ran by no more than 10 feet away from us both. Osa hesitated and then appeared as though she was going to take to the chase, but I shouted "NO! SIT!" and I grabbed her collar and put her on the leash (luckily I had one with me). All the while there was still another coyote to our right watching us, and I thought there might be more, but I couldn't tell because the brush was so thick. Yet, I just knew Osa would be done for if I let her go. The dog that ran past her was at least her size, which means that it was at least 60 lbs, and it had a sort of grey color; as it blazed by us it turned its head and looked dead straight at us. Its eyes were green, and although it ran so fast, I can remember its face so vividly that even now in my mind's eye I feel as though I'm looking at a still shot of the coyotes face. Looking into those eyes, I saw peace. Not the kind of peace that you might expect, but a peace that made me think this animal is not afraid, it knows exactly what it's doing, and it is doing it with ease. Needless to say, this is not the kind of peace I was looking for! Yet, I also admired the creature. For one it looked a lot like Osa (our German Shepherd) in its shape and form, but it also reminded me of her because of the eye contact. Osa is good about giving people eye contact, and I think when anyone looks into her eyes they can see that she is intelligent. Oh, yes, I could see that this coyote was intelligent.
Yet, so much more transpired than what I have just described. It is amazing how quickly thoughts can run through our minds. We can process multiple things simultaneously, create several hypotheses, and draw a conclusion for action within a few seconds. I don't even know if I can say this is a thought process because it all happened instantaneously. I think that might fall more under the category of intuition. For instance, as soon as I saw the coyotes I instantaneously knew that they are normally more afraid of humans than we are of them, yet they are defying this rule. Then the slippery slope of fear kicked in and claimed that one transgression of the natural order could give way to another, and this begat an image like one I recently saw in the Chronicles of Narnia where Osa and I would be surrounded by a wild pack of coyotes (not wolves). They had to have been watcing us for a while which was an eery thought in and of itself. Yet, I also knew simultaneously that they seemed to be after my dog, and their ploy seemed to be to lure her into a chase where they could then turn on her and eat her for lunch. I also knew that I was all alone and about a mile away from my car, so as fear sought to capture my imagination, faith arose within me and filled me with the knowledge that God is with me and He has given me dominion over the earth and all the animals within it. So I simply trusted in the name of Jesus whose rule and reign is ever increasing and shall never end, and I briskly walked with Osa on the leash back to the car. The 10 or 15 minute walk was a little eery and I had to keep my faith up because I did not want those creatures to attempt another trick. Logic told me they wouldn't, but the woods weren't as quiet as they had been before, and there were several times I thought they were at least following us.
Well, thankfully they never did regroup. It was quite an adventure: one which I actually liked having, but I would not like to plan for the near future. It just reminded me that I need to trust God at all times because I never know when something out of my league will cross my path.