Belle's Musing - The Uncalling
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2009
Give ‘em Heaven
Belle’s Musings – The Uncalling
By Belle Touchton – The Missionary Dog
Mommy: Cheryle M. Touchton - The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:5-8 NIV
I’ve been traveling with Mommy as a missionary dog for 6 years. God calls Mommy to do things and then He “uncalls” her. We love our work and every year, when it’s time to go home, Mommy and God have an argument. I get nervous when Mommy starts arguing with God.
One year, God sent buffaloes to make His point. When they surrounded our camper, I ran from one end to the other, trying to herd them away. They just wouldn’t listen. If Mommy hadn’t said yes to God, we’d still be sitting on the road surrounded by buffaloes.
“Barbara,” Mommy asked. “Could you run the numbers on how we’re doing with our money? I’m feeling like God is saying it is time to go home.“
Barbara pulled up a spreadsheet and went to work.
“Cheryle, I think we’ve spent all the money we’ve raised for this trip,” Barbara finally told Mommy. “It looks like we raised almost six weeks of support. By the end of this week, the money will be gone.”
If God was already telling Mommy to go home, why did she need to check a spreadsheet? The bottom line is that Mommy wanted to keep working.
Don’t do it Mommy, I thought as Mommy started asking people for their opinions. When Mommy doesn’t want to do what God says, she calls other people to ask what to do. The problem is that she gets even more confused because everyone gives different advice.
Please, Mommy, just listen to God. North Carolina isn’t ready for buffaloes.
Poor Mommy and Barbara had a hard day. Mommy dropped her phone in water and it kept putting Daddy on hold. The store told her to put the phone in a bag of dry rice to dry it out. Mommy not being able to talk on the phone is not a pretty sight.
After we dropped Barbara off at the Ridgecrest Conference Center, Mommy called Daddy.
“Bob,” she said. “I really think I’m supposed to come home.” They got off the phone quickly because neither of them could stand how goofy the phone was acting.
If Mommy thought we were supposed to go home, why did we check into another campground? We could have been home by midnight.
“Bob,” she called. “I’m in a KOA. I think I’ll stay here for a few days.”
Mommy, what are you doing? I thought, looking around for buffalo.
“Bob,” she said on another call. “This has been the best trip ever. Surely God doesn’t want me to come home yet. Maybe I just don’t have enough faith about the money.”
Oh no, I thought. Doesn’t the Bible say if you doubt God’s wisdom, you’ll feel like waves being tossed around in an ocean? Mommy is going to get seasick if we don’t go home.
Mommy worked late like always. I was wiggling in desperatation to go outside. My tummy had been sick so I don’t know what she was thinking to make me wait so long.
She finally turned off her computer and got her key fob to unset Halleluiah’s alarm. Mommy clicked but it didn’t work. She got the other set of keys and they wouldn’t work either. She got her phone out of the rice, put it back together, and woke Daddy up.
In between the phone hanging up and putting Daddy on hold, Daddy offered suggestions. Everything they tried set off Halleluiah’s alarm. There is nothing louder than an alarm going off multiple times in the middle of the night. I was getting more desperate to walk by the moment.
“What am I going to do?” Mommy cried. “The van won’t start with the alarm on. They are going to throw me out of this campground if I take the time to walk Belle. She has to walk.”
“Get the owner’s manual out,” Daddy instructed. Everything that manual said to do also set off the alarm again. I lost count of how many times Mommy made Halleluiah holler.
Finally, at 1:30 AM, Mommy grabbed the leash and walked me while the alarm blasted across the peaceful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
She opened the front door and shoved me in, on top of all the cushions she had placed there from the couch. She climbed in on top of the cushions and dropped the leash on the floor.
“I’m going to sleep,” she told Daddy. “I’ll think about this in the morning.” Halleluiah finally got quiet and we slept.
The next morning, we had the same problem. I needed to walk again. Mommy looked for my leash and couldn’t find it. She opened the door, starting that horrible noise again, and walked me without the leash.
OK – I know I’m supposed to mind Mommy but two dogs and 2 children are too much temptation. I spotted them and bolted.
Mommy, still in her pajamas, yelled, “Sit! Sit Belle.” In my defense, it was hard to hear her over the alarm.
Besides, I couldn’t sit. There were dogs and children. The dogs charged us and I protected everyone. A little boy at the campsite got in the middle and burst into tears. I felt really bad about that. I was just trying to protect him. How was I to know that they were his dogs.
Mommy grabbed me, picked me up, and told the neighbor, “I’m really sorry. My alarm is broken and I lost my leash. I never walk her without a leash.”
“We heard it going off all night long,” the neighbor said. “Did anyone yell at you?”
“No,” Mommy said. “But I know it was loud. Sorry.”
Mommy walked off yelling at me. The entire campground could hear her because she was yelling over the blaring alarm. I wondered why no one had come over to see if Mommy needed help last night.
We went back in Halleluiah and he finally quite bellowing. Mommy tried to call the support number from the owner’s manual but her phone kept misdialing the numbers. She finally called Daddy from her speed dial and asked him to find an alarm dealer close by.
In a few minutes, Daddy called back and gave Mommy a number to try. Mommy got the phone to call the number. The closest dealer was 100 miles away and they couldn’t help. Apparently, when alarms break, the only thing you can do is have your vehicle towed in.
“My van won’t start,” Mommy told the man. “I can’t go outside. I have a dog that has to be walked. You are 100 miles away and it is almost impossible to find tow trucks for campers. Am I supposed to stay in here forever? I’ll eventually run out of food.”
“I’m sorry mame,” the man said. “I have to tell everyone the same thing.”
She hung the phone, sat in the front seat, and tried to start Halleluiah again. The alarm blared in protest.
Mommy burst into tears, laid her head on the steering wheel, and cried, “OK, God, I get it. If you’ll let Halleluiah start, I’ll go home.”
Mommy lifted her head and clicked the key fob. Halleluiah beeped that happy sound that meant the alarm was working once again. Mommy quickly dressed, programmed Tom Tom for home, and we drove all the way to Florida.
We’re with Daddy now. The alarm and the phone are working perfectly. It really has been a good trip. Maybe God will call us to the road again soon. Maybe next time, when God sends the “uncalling,” Mommy will listen better.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.
This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road as a traveling missionary, send your tax deductible contribution to Pocket Full of Change Ministries, POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240 or go to the donate button on the home page of this website.