Walking with Scout certainly taught me many lessons. Walking with Scout, Cooper and Barnabas has continued the process. Personalities, self-centeredness, leadership and unity are three major challenges we tackle every time we go out for a walk. Trying to walk 150+ pounds of dog is helping me walk out the requirements of God as stated in Micah 6:8:
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Our dogs have inherited characteristics from their breed—and they have distinct personalities as well. Scout, our boxer, is a big dog—powerful and playful, he tends to be
easy-going but clearly defines the limits he finds comfortable. Cooper is a Jack Russell, high-strung, always on edge and ready to fight any who disturb him. Barnabas, an English Bulldog, has a stubborn complacency about him that defies disruption. Their personalities are not equally enjoyable to me. I have a tendency to excuse some behaviors and correct others based on my own preferences.
God is not like me: Hallelujah! He loves each wholly.
He created each one of us different and rejoices in our differences. God does not have favorites because He loves perfectly. Awareness is the first step in change, so I’m glad these guys help me see that my preferences are not to determine my choices. Loving diversity while doing justly is part of honoring God!
Appreciating uniqueness is the mark of leadership that produces unity!
Self-centeredness is a characteristic of animals–one we humans all too often share. (By the way, I whole-heartedly acknowledge that the love of animals is a key aspect of pet ownership. But I submit that their love is self-centered because it emanates out of their need. And their perspective about pet ownership is that we
belong to them!) Taking a walk with three self-centered creatures
builds the arm and back muscles. All
too often what catches the eye of one is in the opposite direction of what catches the eye of another. My responsibility is to capture their attention and set the direction.
Failure to lead in a clear direction creates chaos and frustration!
The LORD is a leader who sets a definite direction. Since God created humanity above the animals, we have extra responsibility. Learning to take dominion over my dogs on a walk reminds me that I am also in charge of my own walk with the LORD. It is my responsibility to keep my eyes fixed on the LORD. He is the author and perfecter of my faith…the One who sets the course I am to follow. Running off my own initiative will result in correction because He is a good leader with a perfect plan.
Fixing our eyes on the Lord as our leader produces unity that advances the Kingdom of God!
Are you letting your preferences and distractability
interfere with following the Leader?
Soul Training in the Barn is a Bible Study created to set a foundation for a firm walk. Check it out on Amazon – it is free to Kindle Plus users!