Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Lesson #1 from my dog
While I have learned that, that's not what I want to write about today.
Every day Percy and I walk 2-3 times. I have one of those retractable leashes and a harness for Percy. Here's what happens:
Percy runs in front of me until he runs out of leash. Occasionally he stops and waits for me. But more often, he turns to the side and begins to explore. So I pass him up and usually end up pulling on the leash or calling him. Then he runs in a circle around me, and runs out in front again. Sometimes he sees another dog and begins to bark and act really aggressive towards the other dog. At other times he sees a bird, or a bunny, or something else that interests him and he takes off running in that direction, and almost pulls my arm off - straining at the leash to go as far as he possibly can. We have begun to work on having him walk beside me, but we have a long ways to go with that training.
Here's what I realized: I am often like him in my relationship with God. I should be walking alongside Him, following His lead. But more often than I want to admit, I am running ahead, or taking off to the side after my own desires, or running circles around Him impatiently. Sometimes I even snap at people around me. At the very least, these actions make me exhausted. I'm running and running, but not really getting anywhere. Occasionally I think God even says, "So you want to go that way? Okay. It's not where you should go. It's muddy there, and full of thorns (or ticks), but if you're determined to make your own way - go ahead." I know God doesn't have me on a leash. I have free will to make my own decisions, determine my own path. But when I don't let God lead, I probably won't go on the path where He wants me to go, the path that is best for me, the path that He has specifically planned just for me.
Just as Percy needs to learn to obey my commands, and to follow my lead when we walk, I need to learn to listen to God's voice, to obey His Word (Ps.119:11 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path), and to follow Him.