Our puppy is almost a year old. We’ve had her since she was 3 months old. You normally think of pets as an extension of your family. You care for them, play with them and sometimes give them more love than to any other person in your life.
Our children are grown and have lives of their own and even though we are a close family, we don’t see each other on a daily basis. So our puppy has been the center of our life, or at least close to the center.
I walk our puppy every day, rain or shine. First thing in the morning, then around 5 in the afternoon, again around 8 pm and finally at 10 PM. We don’t have a fenced yard and so in order to get some exercise and relieve herself, we take these walks.
We never took her to obedience school, but from reading and watching videos on the internet, I’ve learned how to modify her behavior. She doesn’t bark at everything, she walks fairly well on a loose lease and is becoming socialized to people and other dogs. She is not perfect in these skills but she’s come a long way in 10 months.
I just found an off-leash dog park nearby and I’ve taken her to just run to her heart’s content. She is a little confounded by the sense of freedom but is enjoying the full rangeof choosing where to go. However, she doesn’t understand that when it’s time to go, she must come. I’ve walked to the two gate enclosure and waited for her to join me. Then it’s on the leash again.
During this time, I’ve come to realize our relationship with God is similar. God sets the standards for each of us. Sometimes, like our puppy, we are fearful of the world around us. He draws us close and comforts us, soothing away the fear. Sometimes we dash ahead, straining to go faster than we ought. God gently pulls us back to Him. Or we may lag behind and God has to firmly pull us up to His speed.
The point I’m trying to get at is that when my pup and I are walking together, the bond between us is stronger and more gratifying than when we’re out of sync. The same can be said for our journey with God. When we are walking alongside of Him, the walk is better, sweeter and more productive than when we pull back or rush ahead.
God is not a puppeteer. He does accept our free will and if we choose to run free, He will allow it. He wants us to come to Him of our own free will. My puppy could have continued running around in the great big field, but when she realized her human was ready to leave, she came because she loves me and knows I love her and that love is stronger than all the freedom in the world.
Are you walking with God? Or are you running ‘free’? God is waiting at the gate, waiting to share His love freely with you.