My mother-in-law lives in the country in northern Alabama. About twelve minutes from the mall and about the same from Wal-Mart. She lives just off Butler Creek Road. Lots of trees, land, and grass. This morning I was up early and decided to walk. I decided to walk down the long drive to Butler Creek Road and then back. Such a walk very early in the morning would be nice.
So I walked down the drive, past the barn, past the little cemetery on the left, to the road. I heard barking, but that wasn’t unusual. There has always been a dog or two across the road. This time, however, the barking came from the nearest house on the same side of the road as my mother-in-law’s house. I saw the dog running from that house to the road toward me. I could see the dog. It looked like a black mutt.
Then I heard more barking. I could see two large dogs behind that one. They were big, stout dogs. They got closer, and the three of them surrounded me. I looked closely at these two large dogs.
They were pit bulls — with collars.
I began yelling at these dogs. The two pit bulls looked as if they were about to attack. The bark was ferocious, and they crouched as if they were about to lunge. I yelled at these dogs and finally they backed away.
Pit bulls — with collars.
I began thinking about those silly collars as I walked toward the house. So what do those collars mean for someone about to get bit? Very little. I suppose they mean that someone owns the dogs that are about to attack.
When you are face to face with something that threatens you, it might be best to pay attention to the threat and not be distracted by someone’s suggestion that the threat is no big deal. The threat may have a "collar" but that might really mean very little when you are actually being threatened. If it looks and sounds like a threat, it probably is. I may need to pray for the wisdom to see a threat for what it is and not be distracted by my rationalizations.
In the meantime, I don’t think I’ll be walking down that drive.