This week's Sunday Scribbling prompt is wings.
Here, in Eugene, OR, an organization called WINGS provides educational seminars for those who "are searching for something more — more meaning and purpose, healthier relationships, personal and professional success, deep fulfillment, more fun!" WINGS envisions a world "where people act out of conscious choice, love and respect, not fear."
I have never done a WINGS seminar. But not being WINGed is not the point. The point is that those I know who have completed WINGS seminars, emerge glowing, at least temporarily, with genuine heartfelt joy and are washed in calm and, for a while, gaze deeply into my face when listening to me. They also wear pastel clothing.
Well, my dog, Snug, has struggled sometimes with making conscious choices whether to act out of love and respect rather than out of fear. He can be territorial about food and he consciously chooses sometimes to use his growl voice rather than his in-the-house voice and he aggresses toward the other dogs, our Corgis.
Sometimes when Snug feels confined, he consciously chooses to lunge at the Corgis, sometimes acting more out of fear than love and respect. One time he consciously chose to leave teeth marks in the back of Charly's neck. He consciously made bad choices on other occasions.
About 98% of the time, Snug made conscious choices out of love and respect when extending himself to the Deke (my wife) and to the Corgis, but that 2%, yes, that 2%, is 2% too much and I've been working with Snug to channel his conscious choices made out of fear into conscious choices made out of love and respect. I tried to help Snug search for healthier relationships and more fun!
Something clicked in Snug. It happened it Kellogg when I consciously chose out of love and respect for my family community to visit them over spring break. Snug began making better conscious choices. Yes, he used his growl voice with Sadie and Peaches a couple of times at Silver Valley Girl's house when he consciously chose to feel claustrophobic a couple of times. But he consciously chose to back off quickly. As you can see in the picture above, Snug consciously chose to openly share love and respect for Silver Valley Girl as they consciously prepare to choose to kiss.
Later, when Snug realized that InlandEmpireGirl was consciously choosing to fear that Snug was going to pull the angel food cake off the table that InlandEmpireGirl consciously chose to bake for her family community members to dip into an Idaho Spud fondue, Snug consciously chose to retreat out of love and respect and leave the angel food cake on the table and chose to build a loving and respectful relationship with the rest of us by consciously choosing to put his animal desires aside and think about the happiness of the family community rather than himself.
This transformation in Snug has been very welcome. When I returned from Kellogg, the Deke almost immediately recognized the conscious choices Snug was making and she consciously chose not to fear Snug so much and consciously chose instead to act out of love and respect for him.
At first, we thought Snug had consciously chosen to come to know the Lord. We liked that idea, but the Deke had an "Aha!" moment one day while I was consciously choosing to work, in order to strengthen the financial security of our family community.
"Raymond," she said, "I know what's different about Snug. He went to WINGS!"
I think she's right. To celebrate how he has become a leader in his life, I'm going to consciously choose to gift him with a new dog collar. A pastel one.