Hound Dogs in a Hurry

April 01, 2007 | Fresh Start | Karl Haffner

When I lived in Tacoma, Washington, an unlikely local hero emerged by the name of Tattoo. Now this basset hound never intended to go for an evening run, but had no choice when the owner clamped his leash in the car door and took off for a drive—with Tattoo in tow.

Police motorcycle officer, Terry Filbert, was driving near North 21st and Adam Street about 7:25 p.m. when he noticed a vehicle that appeared to have something dragging behind it. Filbert described what he saw as a hound dog “picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could.”

Filbert pursued the car to a stop but not before the dog reached speeds in excess of 25 mph and had rolled over several times. The car’s occupants, a man and a woman, jumped out when Filbert told them they were dragging a dog. The couple was distressed and began calling, “Tattoo, Tattoo!” The dog, 8 months old, was uninjured and no citation was issued.

Ever feel like Tattoo—picking them up and putting them down as fast as you can? Racing faster than you could ever run? If so, you’re part of the club. These days it seems everyone is obsessed with speed.

Pastor John Ortberg points out that the most popular pizza maker is Domino’s. The CEO brags, “We don’t even sell pizza; we sell fast delivery.” (If you’ve even tasted a Domino’s pizza, you know that’s true!) The best-selling shampoo in America combines shampoo and conditioner in one step. Heaven forbid that we would waste time with the old-fashioned rinsing we used to do. We eat at greasy hamburger joints, not because they offer good food, or cheap food, but fast food. In our dizzying quest to get it even faster we invented the drive-thru. Now you don’t have to come to a complete stop before getting your meal. This way, families can eat together in the minivan just like God intended from the beginning of time.

Leonard Sweet, in his book Soul Salsa, describes our fixation with hurry. His label is “backgrounding”—stacking multiple tasks in order to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Listen to his words:

My wife does backgrounding really well. While she’s talking to me on the phone, she’s cooking in the kitchen, giving directions to the kids, and working at her business (and that’s just what I know about). In other words, she’s not giving me her full attention (she does refuse to take call waiting while we’re talking); she’s multitasking.

My favorite way of conjuring titles for books or articles is while I’m playing baseball with my son. In other words, I’m not giving him my full attention. My favorite way to go online and answer e-mail is while I’m watching TV. In other words, I’m not giving friends my full attention. If truth be told, “full attention” moments are few and far between. When they do occur, it’s called “worship.”*

Worship is simply giving God our full attention. And it’s the most worthwhile thing a person can do.

So why not give worship a whirl today? Hit the pause button on your harried, hurried life and focus your heart on praising God. For all of us who feel like a hound dog being pulled faster than we can run, God renders relief in the simple act of praise.

Try it! Chances are you’ll fall in love with Man’s Best Friend.

* Leonard Sweet, Soul Salsa (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), 124.