I’m a cat person, mainly because Libby and I have a cat. Actually, that isn’t quite accurate. The cat has Libby and me. We are here to serve.
I haven’t always been a cat person though. I had a dog as a kid, and then a few years ago, Libby and I went to a dog rescue place and found the perfect dog to take home. We selected it especially for two reasons. Firstly, it had huge, soulful eyes. Secondly, the girl told us that it had had a broken leg, and so it wasn’t very active – that was ideal as we thought it would be a good way to get me some gentle exercise.
So, a few days after we got home, I took this slightly lame dog with the big eyes out for a walk. I seem to be getting a bit inaccurate quite a lot in this post. The correct way of telling the story is to say that this slightly lame dog had big eyes that wanted to see the whole world. That day! To achieve that purpose, the slightly lame dog dragged me round for two hours, rendering me exhausted and with one arm longer than the other!
I had always wanted a dog that would walk to heel, faithfully beside me, but it wasn’t going to be this dog. I watch others walking their dogs, and many have the same problem – the dog is out in front, pulling them along. Others have the exact opposite, their arms constantly twisting at an uncomfortable angle behind them, as they drag the dog which has applied all four brakes simultaneously and aint going nowhere, if you don’t mind!
I always wondered where the phrase ‘Going to the dogs’ came from, and I think I might have stumbled on something here. Dogs which drag their owners everywhere, or have to be dragged anywhere are just self-willed, stubborn, disobedient. Ahem, just like us, eh? We are often just the same.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24, NLT)
The last line of this passage has an important word in it – lead. Not the lead that we put on a dog, because we are not dogs, or pets. It is the lead where God goes in front of us. He shows us the way. He doesn’t drag us.
He lets us choose. Do we go our own way, off to the side? Do we put on the brakes and go nowhere?
Nowhere or know where ?
Do we know where we should go, and follow him faithfully, right at his heel?