On the wind that kept the sea of American flags blowing was the smell of diesel and the sound of laughter. The grounds at the 42nd annual Macungie antique truck show in Pennsylvania seemed somewhat sacred to generations of trucking families. There were the old timers who walked down memory lane like royalty, the adolescent boys with their cell phones filming content, and all of us awestruck observers in between. The artist in me appreciated the design lines and chrome that were common 25+ years ago but have since been replaced by cheaper manufacturing decisions.
Something that caught my attention about one truck in particular was not the vehicle itself but its passengers. Leaning out the driver side window were two dogs eagerly waiting for their master to return. I was impressed with their control and patience. If only we humans could be as obedient waiting on our Master to return. They say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but I’m here to disagree. From simply observing those dogs in that old Mack truck, I’ve gleaned a few insights. If we get impatient and jump out of what our Master has deemed safe, we could get hurt. And even if we survive the fall, we’ll probably get distracted by the world and get on a scent that would pull us away from the Master Plan. The dogs even resisted the urge to follow well-intentioned, friendly people who came up to the truck and interacted with them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had that kind of resolve!
Fido (translated means “faithful”) was a dog in the early 1940’s in Italy who became famous for waiting. His master, an Italian brick kiln worker, had found him injured and restored him to health. Fido walked with his master to the bus station every day and waited for him to return. One day in 1943 a WWII air raid bomb killed the man at work and Fido remained at the bus station, waiting…for the next 14 years!
While dogs like that get really close to earning the title “man’s best friend”, there were two that were certainly not our friends one evening in Disney World. While dining at the 101 Dalmatians themed restaurant, Jack (then a small boy) had to use the bathroom and the duty fell on Jeff to take him. When they returned to the table, I could tell something had gone awry. The story unfolded gradually like peeling back layers of an onion that makes you cry. There had been confusion at the onset because the doors were marked with “Purdy” and “Pongo” instead of men and women, and Jeff, not being familiar with the movie, didn’t know if he was a Purdy or a Pongo. Sensing the urgency of his small son, he didn’t tarry long on the decision and darted into one. They were in their secure stall when they heard women’s voices. A desperate man planning his next move, Jeff told Jack to stay close and keep up as they darted past a gauntlet of disapproving female stares. They didn’t even take time to wash their hands!
As for the dogs waiting in the Mack truck…I wonder if they were waiting obediently because they knew their master was nearby and were loyal in that security. Or perhaps the parent dog knew a jump outside of obedience might not harm it personally, but it could drastically hurt its child if it most assuredly would have followed suit. What if we were so generous to the next generation?
In closing, think about what it is you’re waiting for. Is it to be appreciated? To be healed? For a spouse or a child? For a special Valentine in a few days? Take heart! “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalms 27:14) Sometimes waiting for someone or THE one is the Master’s Plan.
Janet Cowger- Fliegel