You’ll remember that my first “Just a Thought” was inspired by our Cocker Spaniel, Jodi, and that I recently wrote a post based on my observations of “Yala,” our newest Siamese kitten. Although Jodi is long gone, we are not without our dog companions. Today we have a Golden Retriever named Charity, a loving, 90-pound fur ball, and a Black Lab named Echo, a 45-pound ball of unfocused energy. It is my interactions with these two that has given me “Just a Thought.”
(For your convenience an Audio of this post follows the end. Just hit play)
Charity and Echo both joined the family as puppies but about a year apart. As pups they had to be taught the rules of the house. These rules included both the physical and the mental. The physical, like this is your room… this is Not your room. The mental, understanding instructions like “Sit” and “Stay.” They also had to learn that size does not set the hierarchy, as our Snowshoe Siamese, Baby (nicknamed Evil), would quickly teach them.
Now, as I said, Charity and Echo are very different dogs. Neither would ever consider hurting a person, but Charity is very Timid and Echo is… shall we say, very Extroverted. Because of this, both training and application had to be handled quite differently. For example, when Charity learned what the word “sit” meant, you would say “sit” and she would say, “You mean like this?” But when you would say “sit” to Echo, she would say, “Are you sure?” This difference also caused other issues. You see, Charity and Echo are inseparable. So, when you are instructing one, you may be instructing both. Yes, they know their names, which is helpful, but their personalities still inject themselves into the situation. Continuing in our example, when Echo says, “Are you sure?” this causes us to have to repeat the instruction “sit,” usually several times. Right beside her is Charity, who sat the first time you said it. Now her timid nature comes into play and she begins to try to figure out what she has done wrong. She hangs her head, lies down, turns around and sometimes even starts to walk somewhere else thinking she wasn’t supposed to move in the first place. Back to Echo. It isn’t that she didn’t understand you the first time or that she doesn’t like to sit. She loves to sit, or lay, on her favorite “couch”… Charity. It’s just that she knows there is something else coming and she can’t wait to get to that. You know, as I just said… “Are you sure?” this “sit” thing is such a waste of time!
I’m afraid it gets even worse from there for both Charity and Echo. After “sit” comes “stay.” Yes, for sit to be effective there has to be stay, even if just for a moment. For sit to truly be sit there must be a pause before movement resumes. Again, this requirement, “Stay,” affects each differently. At times, for Charity, it leaves her thinking… “Why am I being held back? Did I do something wrong?” For Echo, it leaves her thinking… “Why am I being held back? You’re doing something wrong!” Neither considers that the reason is I am looking out for their interest and mine.
Let’s look at this morning’s example that inspired this thought. Before being let outside the dogs are called into the hallway where the door opens. They are told to sit and stay while I open the door and move out of the way. After the door is opened they are verbally released to go. This morning they were called to the hallway as normal and I went to move out of the way when Echo said… “Are you sure?” and proceeded to move. At that very moment I was stepping around her. This caused me to trip and hurt the front of my ankle and I’m sure gave her the impression she had just been kicked. Both of our interests that “Stay” was there to protect were not protected and neither were served. While I’m sure Echo forgot as quickly as her sitter crossed the threshold, I can tell you the damage she caused the master, who only had her best interest in mind, will be felt awhile longer.
So, that’s the lesson, the thought my observation produced. How often are we like either or both Charity and Echo? At times we may be like Charity and obediently Sit in the place God tells us and Stay there waiting the next instruction. But how often like Charity, as we Stay where He puts us, do we begin to doubt, hang our head, and look around or backward, and begin to move away from where God wanted us? I think even more often we are like Echo. We can barely keep our butt on the ground much less Stay where God puts us. We wiggle and squirm asking God, “Are You sure?” We even ask God, “Why am I being held back?” implying He is “doing something wrong.” In both cases we fail to consider, or at least remember (have Faith), that He only has His Kingdom and our best interest in mind. We even sometimes insist on moving before He opens the door harming ourselves and Him in the process.
Are you willing to submit to your Master and learn to “Sit” and “Stay?” Do you trust that God sees and plans for what is ahead of us and tells us to “Sit” and “Stay” to protect us, guide us and ultimately to bless us and His Kingdom? Will you accept that failing to follow His instruction only harms you both? The next time you begin to doubt and lose Faith or start to think you know better, will you “Stay” where God put you? Just a Thought!
© 2/16/2018 Scott A Caughel