Friday, January 18, 2013

Wayward Dog

Our little dog, Jake, has run off every day this week. 
He takes off in the morning and is gone for hours.
He comes back tired, cold, sore and filthy.
He is an old dog and knows better, yet, he does it anyway.
And no amount of scolding seems to make any difference.

We don’t know why he insists on running off.
We provide him with everything he needs;
A home, warm bed, companionship, plenty of food…
Yet, he can’t seem to help himself.

Doesn’t he realize that in running off he could be hit by a car, 
become a coyote’s next meal or be picked up by animal control?

When he came trotting home the other day, 
in frustration,
 I told my youngest daughter that I didn’t want anything to do with him.
She promptly went over to him and sternly said, 
“Jake, you need to stop running off. 
But don’t worry, I still love you.”

And then it hit me. 
We aren’t any different than Jake.
We have a Father who loves us and cares for us.
He has told and shown us how to live 
that we might experience all of His blessings and benefits.
Yet, often, we choose to do otherwise.
And afterwards, we come trotting back, 
fully expecting that nothing “at home” has changed.
Indeed nothing has.
God still loves us.

In the midst of or because of our rebellion, 
there may be consequences to endure.
We just might encounter that speeding car, 
hungry coyote or ruthless dog-catcher.
Poor decisions do lead to pain and injury.
But God still loves us.

And just as it is my hope, every morning when I let Jake out, 
that he will take care of business and promptly return 
to his warm and loving home,
so it is with the Lord and His children.

When we awake each morning, 
may we choose to walk and live in the way 
that is pleasing and acceptable to Him.
Not because we are performance driven,
 but because we are compelled by the wonder 
of His great and magnificent love toward us. 

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