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Lookin’ for love - In All The Wrong Places

JJ Daniel, Washington


Ole’ George Johnson and his wife Sarah lived on an 80 acre farm in Tennessee. George had an unusual love for animals from the time he could crawl – and was actually much better with them than with people.  If there was ever anyone CLOSE to being a true “Dr. Dolittle” it would be George!


Spending hours and hours every day with his animals, it almost seemed that the animals understood what George was saying. 


Because George would rather spend time with the animals, he did not take good care of his property.  When the old well dried up he drilled a new one, not taking the time or energy to fill in the old well. George simply instructed his animals to stay out of the north pasture. 


Most of the animals on the farm were as old as ole’ George, and wouldn’t even give thought to wandering away from their well-stocked barn. However – he had this one young donkey that just seemed to have a mind of his own.


Now, Jasper was a small donkey, but fearless as a lion.  He seemed to be the only donkey on this farm, so he set out one day to find himself a female donkey. Even though there was snow on the ground, and the weather was freezing cold - Jasper began his search.  A couple of snakes, and a few bunnies to chase, was all that he found in the South pasture; Jasper continued to explore the rest of the eighty acres that he had access to. 


Needless to say, as most independent, strong-willed donkeys will do... he found his way to the forbidden north pasture.  With his head held high, searching for that one special she-donkey, ignoring the snow-covered ground, he didn’t notice the old well in his path.


Poor Jasper suddenly found him self in the bottom of that deep, dark, dried up well!  Jasper couldn’t see a way out - so began to yell, at the top of his lungs.  The cries finally got the attention of the ole’ farmer.


When George arrived on the scene, he knew instantly he was looking at a hopeless situation. Although George was sadden at the loss – he scolded the donkey for disobeying his command, and not staying close to his care! 


George called for help from the neighboring farmers, but they all agreed that there was no way to rescue Jasper from the well, especially not this time of year.  After much deliberation they agreed that the most humane thing they could do for Jasper, was to bury him as quickly as possible; rather than leave him to freeze, or to starve to death.  The farmers all went their separate ways, only to return, one at a time, with a load of local debris.


Now Jasper, being the young healthy, occasionally intelligent donkey that he was, figured out with the first shovel of dirt, what the plan was.  All of a sudden reality set in! He knew that no one could help him get out of that pit of despair!   He was quite sad, and allowed the overwhelming defeat, depression and hopelessness to set in; but only for a moment!


The first farmer emptied his load of dirt, and quickly drove away, making room for the next load of debris.


Now, besides the snow that was building up, all this dirt hit the poor lil’ donkey!  It hurt the donkey - However, he got up, shook himself off – and climbed up on top of the debris.


The next farmer backed up close to the old well, and promptly unloaded the leaves, brush, berry vines, branches and twigs left from his fall cleaning project.


Now this load of garbage hit the donkey – and it hurt the donkey! However, he got up! Shook him self off – and climbed up on top of the debris.


Old George was shocked to hear that Jasper was still alive!  He knew he couldn’t stay out in the cold much longer, but did want to take care of the donkey before he headed back to the warmth of his home.  He sent word that he needed heavier garbage!


The next truck was twice as big as the first two, and the farmers proceeded with the plan.


Now this load of broken toys, dead batteries and broken toasters, dried up Christmas trees, boxes etc. This load was much heavier than the first two loads of garbage.


The garbage hit the lil’ donkey -  it really bruised the donkey! But… he got up! Shook it off – and climbed up on top of the debris.


Old George was seeing that this donkey had real spunk, and a will to live that he hadn’t counted on!  He really did love that lil’ donkey, and didn’t want him to suffer anymore than need be.  So he called for the big guns!


The next truck to arrive on the scene was the city dump truck.  Now THIS would get the job done! Thought farmer George, sadly – yet thankfully.


Several farmers worked together, to direct this load of old farm equipment and discarded car parts into the dried up well.


Now this load of garbage hit the donkey – it really HURT the donkey! However, he got up! Shook himself off – and climbed right on out of the well!!!


The farmers were shocked and amazed, as they watched the lil’ donkey trot off toward home.


Yes, Jasper was bruised, broken and sad.  But his determination to LIVE, and not die got him UP! He shook himself OFF, and got on with life!                           []                                                                                          





So often in this life – we get out there, away from the Father’s plan; out in the north pasture by our self, in a storm that leads us to the proverbial deep, dried-up old well of discouragement and depression.


When the dreams we carry die; when relationships end; when it seems nothing good is coming our way. No matter how heavy the debris – it is still our choice how to handle it.   We can take refuge in the dark, lonely depression of that pit of despair –  let the garbage trap and bury us, robbing us from life. Or we can GET UP!  Shake our self off … and climb on up a little higher!


It all comes back to our daily choices.


If we allow the Word of God and His Peace-filled direction to be our compass…. We will not end up in a dark, deserted, hopeless pit.  It is when we get outside of His plan, or ahead of His timing, when we try to make things happen our self – that we find we have strayed off course – broken and defeated . 


It is God’s plan to give His kids GOOD things – but it will be in HIS  time frame, not ours.   Amen?  Ecc 3:1-11


God bless you, as you ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness’ – resting in confidence, that He will then ‘add all these things to you.’



JJ Daniel


I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. 

They are good and not evil. To give you a future and a hope!