Sammy’s Bad Day

(The below is a children’s message, that I shared to youth during our worship service. It’s about my son,..Sammy the Superdog)

Some of you know I have a dog. His name is Sammy, and he is a West Highland Terrier. Here’s a picture of him.

He’s not your average dog. In our house, he is one of the kids. He is probably the most spoiled out of the three. He sleeps with my wife and I,…usually on my pillow for the first half of the night and on my wife’s head the second. He is a tad on the lazy side, tends to get into trouble now and again,..but he is superbly loveable.

Last week Sammy had a hard go of it. First it was time for his annual vet visit,….that ment like four or five shots. They had to hold him,…they had to muzzle him,….and then he got so stressed out he had like five accidents in the ten minutes he was there. The next day, he was wiped. He was sore, tired, not feeling good,…. He was a bump on the log….

Remember, I said that he tends to get in trouble…. Well,…just as he was getting better,… He decided that he was going to steal the snack of one of the girls…

Which was unfortunately a large bag of MM’s.

If you guys don’t know, you never, ever feed a dog chocolate…. Because although it tastes good to them too,… in their bodies its like poison…

About an hour later we discover Sammy’s crime,…and call the vet…The rest of the evening, Stacey and I spend the evening, squirting Hydrogen Peroxide down his throat,…trying to get him to throw up….And boy did he ever.

When his system was finally clear,…he was done,…he was wiped… He was truly spent,…and he had to sleep for some time… Sammy was beat up,…manhandled,…and wiped out…. And he wasn’t as playful for a while….

As I was thinking about Sammy’s poor adventures…. I started to think about another story I once read in a Sunday Paper.

It’s a story about Chippie the parakeet,…who also had a hard time… But Chippie the Parakeet never saw it coming.

One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, blown over. The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage.

The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said ‘hello’ when ‘sssopp!’ Chippie got sucked in.

The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie—still alive, but stunned. Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water.

Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering.

Well,’ she replied, ’Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore—he just sits and stares.’

It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . that’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.”

 Manhandled, beat-up, and wiped out,…that’s also enough to wipe the play from any puppy.

I suspect that all of us here this morning have felt like Chippie or Sammy at one time or another. Sometimes it feels like our dreams have been dashed, our spirits have been shattered, and our world has been turned upside down. And just like Chippie and Sammy, we never see it coming.

One minute we were just singing away, or chomping on chocolate, and the next we had been blown over by one of life’s many storms. There’s your mom and dad, squirting peroxide down your throat… The plain truth is this: life can be very, very difficult at times. And sometimes it can be more than we can bear alone. That’s why this place is so special….

And that’s what I want to talk about this morning. We have a special promise, because of the faith we share… We never have to go it alone… This is true for us, because of two things….

One: You have this place. This is more than a building or a place just to come on Sundays.

This place is a family. When times are tough, and you feel beat up, sucked up, wiped out or manhandled…. You can come here. If we do things right,…you should leave feeling better. That’s because in this place are people who have promised to be here for you when times get tough…. That’s one of the ways we worship God.

And Two: We don’t have to go it alone,….because Jesus promised us,…that He would never leave us.

When school gets tough, he’s there. When your parents are mad, he’s there. When you feel like no one likes you,….he’s there.  He’s there to hold your hand, and to make sure you know things will be all right.

And for the rest of us adults…When work, marriage, family is tough,…he’s there.

When you have reached rock bottom,….he’s there.

When your bank account is empty, and your dreams are gone,…Guess what? He’s there.

I think that is something we all should remember. So, lets remember these three things…

Number One….Never Vacuum a parakeet.

Number Two….Never Feed a dog chocolate…

Number Three….AND most important…. Jesus Never Leaves.

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