A Dog, a Confession, and a Request

FYI: I recently posted this post at Thom Rainer’s Church Answers site, but I wanted my readers to hear it, too. I encourage you to visit that site for some great resources and blog posts.


After almost 32 years of marriage, my wife and I adopted a rescue dog a few weeks ago. I grew up with dogs, but Pam has never been around a dog for any length of time. Still, though, we took the plunge after hosting/fostering this dog for three weekends so he could get acclimated to people in hopes of getting adopted. 

I asked to host a young, male, active dog—and that’s exactly who we got . . . with emphasis on “active.” He was high energy and non-stop, but I fell in love with him. He and I hung out together for the weekend, and I did little work. On the day we returned him after the first weekend, my wife cried recurrently. She knew she was going to miss him, but she later told me another, more significant reason she was crying—a reason I’ve not been able to shake: “Chuck,” she said, “I’m also crying because I haven’t seen you so happy and relaxed in a long time.” 

She didn’t say it this way, but I suspect she might have also been saying, “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you without a phone or a computer attached to you.”

The dog adoption actually didn’t work out after the first week, but I learned a lesson nevertheless. You see, I’m a workaholic. I can get idolatrous about achieving. There’s always more to do, more to accomplish. I don’t relax or rest well. I’ve even written about these issues in the past (see here), but changing this pattern has proven difficult. And, I had grown so accustomed to it that I didn’t even realize it until a dog captured my heart and refused to let me do much but pay attention to him. 

Despite what I’ve realized, I know I’ll continue to wrestle with saying “yes” too quickly and relaxing too infrequently. Still, though, I want to slow down, look around, see God’s work, and pay better attention to the gifts of people He has given me. 

I want to close my computer more regularly. I want to be okay with doing nothing. I want to rest more in God’s grace. 

Would you say a prayer for me today? And, if you face the same issues and want our readers to pray for you, let us know by using the “comments” section below. 

Oh, and by the way, this past week we brought into our home a mini Aussie Shepherd puppy named Max. Hope you enjoy his picture here as much as we’re enjoying him! 


  • Rick Hassell says:

    Confession: Chuck, After 41 years of marriage, and 35 years of my wife calling me a “workaholic”, God has taken steps to slow me down. It is a difficult life change, but I’m learning (slowly), that it’s about God, not me. Praying for you and asking you to pray for me.

  • Lawless Chuck says:

    You got it, Rick. Thanks

  • Ismael Pimienta says:

    Chuck, thank you for the time and effort you put into your posts. They have been a blessing to my team and me. I understand the allure of work and achievement. I don’t think I tie it to my identity, but I do find satisfaction in completing work/projects. I “justify” it to myself in thinking I do all things as unto God and doesn’t he deserve our very best effort? Work is sometimes an avoidance mechanism like avoiding exercise, conflict, chores, etc. Although Adam’s labors were cursed, they are redeemed in Christ. I pray we all put work in it’s proper place and keep it from becoming the idol it can be.

  • Anthony Reimer says:

    Thanks for this Dr. Lawless. My wife and I got to go away for vacation, just the two of us the last week. The first time since before our daughter was born. I normally find it hard to relax, but sitting by the beach, reading a book and spending time with God was exactly what my soul needed. However, I returned on Wednesday and it’s now Monday and I haven’t stopped working. Trying to bring the beach back here in NJ and take that time for a peaceful pause. Thanks for sharing this. Prayed for you too this morning.

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