We were enjoying a drink in a champagne bar in Canterbury, England. It was a classy place, in an historic hotel. It was happy hour, and things were pretty busy. An elderly lady and her companions, including a small dog, came in. The dog didn’t look like a service animal and didn’t have a vest or anything, but neither the staff nor the patrons seemed to pay it any mind. Apparently, they aren’t strict about pets in bars in England. Everyone was having a good time until the waitress attempted to serve the dog owner and her friends a second (or third) round of drinks. As the server was about to unload her tray full of champagne flutes onto the cocktail table, the elderly lady got a little eager and reached for a glass. The tall, delicate glass tipped over, toppling the glass next to it. The server lunged to grab the glasses, and ended up flipping the silver tray, sending all the champagne flutes crashing to the marble floor in a spectacular explosion of glass. The waitress shouted an expletive. At that moment the little dog, apparently sensing danger to his mistress, jumped up and began growling, snarling, barking, and running around. The waitress, understandably, shrieked. A couple entered the bar and attempted to travel through the scene to get to an empty table beyond. Overall chaos ensued.
Suddenly, from the midst of the hubbub, the elderly lady said, in a stern, loud voice: “Kingsly, Shake It Off.” Shockingly, the little dog immediately stopped barking, and literally shook himself all over, as if just emerging from the bath. He then went to his mistress’s side and lay down. At that point, things quickly de-escalated several notches, the situation became under control, and the mess was rapidly cleaned. up. No more than 2 minutes later, “Kingsly” was snoring on the carpet. He knew his mistress had everything handled and he could just take a breath.
I need to learn to command myself to “Shake it Off.” That is much easier said than done. I am naturally a control freak. In times of crisis, I am prone to bark and run around and try to “do things” in an attempt to control the situation. But sometimes, as with Kingsly, my “doing” is making things worse, rather than better. And, not every situation can be controlled by me. But God is capable of controlling every situation. As a follower of Christ, I need to rest in the fact that God is in control and trust that He can handle things without my help.