Sniffing Life Like a Hound Dog

Posted On August 4, 2021

My puppy, Bailey, perpetually has her nose in the wind or on the ground. As we take daily walks, she detects the presence of rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks long before they appear. When it’s time to go home, she smells the way.





I’ve tried sniffing the path of my life for sixty-two years, chasing the wind like a hound dog, following every scent I thought was real, thinking if I just tried a little harder, I’d find my way. I hoped I could smell the Divine Presence like incense or bread and wine, so I’d know where and how God was leading me. But how do you smell that which you cannot touch nor feel—that which you can only try to describe like Jeremiah did as a burning in our bones? (Jeremiah 20:9).






Unlike Bailey, who can smell her way home, I’m often lost, baffled by the next step I should take, confused about where God’s Spirit is leading me. But Bailey is teaching me that being lost can sometimes lead you to your real home—that place in our hearts where God dwells within us and guides us with wisdom and love.






Bailey was lost once, before she was found. Abandoned during her first seven months of life, she wandered the Arkansas pines until someone found her. Good folks gave her foster care. Through divine intervention, Bailey ended up in my lap, giving me wet-willies until her hound-dog tongue runs out of wet.


I sit in the quiet of my den each morning with Bailey curled at my feet. Some call it prayer; others call it meditation. I’m not sure what I call it. Maybe my “Quiet Time.”  It’s my version of sniffing life, trying to discern the scent of how God’s Spirit is alluring me.





Sometimes I smell God’s love and guidance. It’s as Real and Present as the vanilla scent streaming from the candle on my desk. Other times, I look at my picture of Christ, the one of him with a gentle smile. I tell him I’m lost.  I ask him, “Can you help me find the way home?”



I know that by sniffing life like a hound dog—keeping our noses close to the heart of Christ—we eventually discover the Divine Scent—the One that leads us Home.




—brian j plachta


August Zoom Webinar


Our August Zoom Webinar will on Tuesday, August 31:


-nature as spiritual practice

Finding Flow—Simple
Wisdom Webinar

Tuesday, August 31, 2021
7:00 pm – 8:45 pm (Eastern US Time)

  • How is nature medicine for our souls?
  • What Wisdom does the Creator wish to reveal to us through our experiences in nature?
  • How can we learn to understand what nature desires to teach us?
Join me for this free Zoom Webinar to explore these questions and others.

During the webinar you’ll discover: 

  • How to become aware of Nature’s divine presence in your life
  • What makes an ordinary experience in nature extraordinary
  • How you can listen and understand the language of Nature
  • Spiritual practices that can help you hear God’s Wisdom revealing itself to you through nature


Click the link below to learn more and register.

Click Here: Nature as Spiritual Practice Registration Link



Written by Brian J. Plachta

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