Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another dog/person comparison

My dog Foster was a restless puppy. Actually, “restless” doesn’t cover it. He regularly jumped on the dinner table. He attacked lawn mowers, slippers and vacuum cleaners as if they were satanic objects. He was probably the only dog ever banned from the Springfield Township Dog Hotel. Eventually it reached the point where we had to take him to a trainer.

From the beginning, I felt badly for Foster. Whereas he’d had free reign over the house, the second the obedience trainer opened the door it was a brand new ballgame. The second he jumped on the table, a Coke can filled with coins went flying his direction. Attempted vacuum cleaner murder resulted in him being yanked backwards by his choke chain. Watching “obedience school” was like watching torture.

My family expressed concern about this torture effect. What the trainer said stuck with me. Left pseudo-trained, Foster was going to be restless for the rest of his life. Providing him with training, calling him towards obedience – this was the only way he would ever be at peace.

You can probably see where I’m going with this.

It strikes me that this same advice applies to our relationship with the Lord. He will allow us to thrash around and waste energy fighting unimportant battles. Some of us will go our whole lives doing that sort of thing. The only way we’ll ever reach a genuine level of peace – of freedom from disturbance – is to be obedient to what He tells us to do. After all, “The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace.”

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