A Lesson From My Dog

Yes, I have learned a very valuable life lesson from my dog.

Every time she has reminded me of this lesson, I have told myself, “You need to write about your dog teaching you.”
So now, I have finally taken up my quill and parchment or rather, my keyboard and virtual paper.
This has happened more than once and certainly more often than I’d prefer.

Sadie and I are out for a walk, enjoying the great outdoors as only a man and (what they call) man’s best friend can.

Sadie the Dog

Yet, the inevitable happens.

Sadie sees something that she is utterly convinced in her mind is edible and proceeds to head in that direction.
I spot whatever rotting and decaying substance she is heading towards and I quickly check her leash.
Sadie looks my way with an eye of defiance and sets her four paws in a “give no ground” stance.
I gently, yet firmly, continue to put pressure on her leash.
She arches her neck and even tosses her head to let me know she is going nowhere until she is allowed to consume this garbage.

Now, caring deeply for my dog and knowing she eats very well with the dog food we buy her and the table scraps she gets to enjoy, I still refuse to give her reign to consume this filth. 

By now we are in a deadlock.
I firmly pull on the leash again and this time she sits down, her neck still arched to resist my gentle tugs.

Being very human, I am starting to lose my patience at this point. This dog eats premium dog food as well as the healthy and high-quality fare we humans consume! Yet, she stubbornly wants to eat this decaying and rotting substance! Of all the nerve! To resist my care! My concern for her health and well-being! After all I have done for her and…

Oh, ouch.
That stung.

Isn’t that exactly what I do to God so many times?

The Lord loves me more than I can comprehend. His plans are always best, mine are futile. (Psalm 94:11) His way is perfect, His plans stand firm forever, He has my best interests in mind, He knows me better than I know myself. (Psalm 139:1, Romans 8:26, Psalm 33:11)

Yet, how many times do I arch my neck and set my feet to follow the way I want?

How many times has God gently tugged on my “leash,” having something far better for me and I have stubbornly held my ground?
How many times has He gently told me He has something better for me if I will just follow Him and I have refused to listen?
How many times have I chosen the rotting, decaying substances I chase over the Bread of Life? (Jeremiah 2:13, John 6:35)
How many times have I allowed the here and now to rob me of seeing His long-term plan?
How many times has the allure of now drawn me away from waiting on Him? (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 46:11)

And yet, through it all, (unlike me,) He never loses His patience. He still gently draws me along with His cords of love. He gently reproves and disciplines me that I may share in His holiness.

Even if I am more stubborn than my dog.

So by the grace of God, the next time I am tempted to arch my neck and resist the Spirt’s gentle tug, I shall remember Sadie and meekly and humbly follow after my Lord. After all, His plan is truly best.

I pray that you all will do the same.

" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' "
- Jeremiah 29:11