According to my fitness app, my average number of steps in September of 2023 was 2,823. In October, the average was 8,469. Why the dramatic increase?

His name is Brooks, and we walk 3 times a day. (depending on weather and effectiveness of the stare down)

Walks include the neighborhood warm up, the tennis courts, pickle ball, and bocce ball tour, and evening “sniffari.”

For those unfamiliar with the sniffari, it’s a word derived from “sniffing” and “safari.” Basically, it’s a sniffing safari.

No speed records are broken on a sniffari, as these walks are taken at the pace of the “hunter,” which means a “stop and smell” every 2 to 2.5 feet. Sara once told me when walking a dog, they “see” with their nose. Smell is how they see their world and take in their surroundings.

It’s also how they get into trouble.

As his sniffari guide, I keep him safe. Potential danger lurks in the tall grass, and not everything that smells good is good for you.

Fortunately he’s tethered by a leash, and when tempted to venture into tall grass hits, I’m able to deny access. Tall grass is home to snakes, and presents a risk I’m not willing to take. No matter how appealing the smell.

I’ve also learned if he lingers over a smell for an extended period of time, chance are he’s about to eat it whatever he’s been sizing up. For some reason, the boy is crazy about deer scat and will fight to capture that delicacy. (also needs to learn “drop it” doesn’t mean “chew faster”)

Fortunately I’m slightly stronger than Brooks, and am able to keep him from bad life choices.

Sometimes I wish I was tethered to God the same way.  When I’m headed for the tall grass or “lingering,” he’d not so gently pull me back.

But that’s not how it works.

You are in a way tethered, when you feel the “tug” (conviction) of the Holy Spirit in your life. But God gave us both a free will, and the ability to choose, no matter how hard he pulls the leash.

Adventures in tall grass and lingering are choices we make everyday.

For more about our daily sniffaris, please watch the video below.

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