Jackie and I were walking down the street recently.
50 yards from home we were deep in conversation and suddenly out of nowhere came a very loud and harsh bark - deep - from a 500 pound dog (!). Involuntarily, I shifted (in the air) to the left (away from the sound) and tried to calm down...heart racing, face flushed.
Then I figured out that the dog was behind a fence, and we were probably safe.
Now, before you respond to this with the language of persecution, let me tell you that early on I had a similar experience when walking. And a little dog came down the flight of stairs and took out a piece of my flesh. (I had short pants on...Boy Scout days!) I ended up needing some quick medical care.
So, I involuntarily "jump left" on occasions like this.
And I am very grateful for fences.
Been bitten lately?
Oh, not by a dog, but by TV or a movie, or anger that produced some words unfortunate, or by temptations to greed or sloth or malice?
Here's an idea.
Before the "bark," try building a fence.
Pull the plug.
Set new standards.
Form a partnership against the weakness with someone.
Memorize a verse of scripture that calls for right responses.
Determine the action you will take before you ever hear "the bark."
Believe me, it's a lot better to build a fence early....
...than to give your flesh to the barking dogs.