A dog, a porcupine, and a much needed lesson

On a recent hunting outing, my dog Banjo ran into a porcupine. There were more than 200 quills in her; she could hardly walk. The quills were in her front and rear shoulders. She was trying to get them out herself, but every movement drove the quills deeper and caused her more pain.

I had to hold her down and pull the quills out—agonizingly, one by one. It was painful; she did not like it, but she was powerless over the quills. She needed someone else to remove them in order to be able to get back to our truck.

This experience reminded me of my recovery journey. Sometimes, through no fault of my own, I get into a painful situation, and as much as I may try, I cannot release the pain. It is only when I surrender to a Power greater than myself that I can be freed of the pain.

The release is neither immediate, nor painless in itself. However, I find relief by surrendering my will and allowing God, as I understand Him, into my life. Sometimes, the relief comes from an unexpected direction, but I always see that the solution that came was better than what I could have devised myself.

Although Banjo was probably not grateful to run into the porcupine, this pain-filled experience reinforced a lesson that I need to always remember.

By Tim B., Michigan
The Forum, March 2011

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