I have two dogs. One is a black Lab, and the other is a Weimaraner. The Lab is docile but mischievous, and the Weimaraner is curious, hyper and ditzy. The Lab’s name is Katy and the Weimaraner’s name is Mija.
I have not been incredibly fond of Mija. She steals food from Katy, is overly rambunctious, and excited pees on my floors. She is also difficult to take out on a leash.
When I first started walking with Mija she would be all over the place. She would try to yank my arm out of socket. Then she would wrap me up in the leash. Then she would be between my legs. Then she would be sniffing something interesting and not want to keep going. She desperately wanted to be in control. But there was one problem for her. She was on a leash, and I am bigger than her.
When she would be all over the place and not listening to commands, I would get frustrated. OK; that’s an understatement. Nevertheless, the more frustrated I got the worse she behaved. I actually had to finally put a choker chain on her as we went for walks. She learned by way of this very quickly.
If you’ve never seen a choker chain for a dog, it works like this: the more they pull away, the tighter it gets around their neck. So, in essence, when they pull away they are choking themselves, but when they behave and walk as intended, then the collar loosens and they are comfortable again. I know that some people think this is cruel, but it works quickly and effectively.
After one session on the choker chain Mija is walking on the leash fine and doesn’t need it. Now, if I wait too long before walking her again, chances are that she will re-develop bad habits again, and we may have to re-introduce the choker chain to remind her of the rules to walking on a leash.
As I think about Mija, however, I realize that I shouldn’t get too frustrated with her. So many times I am just like her, only God is the one giving the directions.
What Mija doesn’t understand is that I have to curb her wild instincts so that she won’t get in trouble, and so that we can help her survive in a comfortable lifestyle as part of our family. It is a blessing for her to live with us.
What I don’t understand often times is that God is doing the same thing. He is trying to give me direction for my life, but I want to do things my own way. If only I would trust that God’s way is best, I would find out that life is so much richer. When I try to do things my own way, something always goes wrong.
In Galatians it talks about how everyone who has been baptized into Christ has clothed themselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27). Romans 8:9 says that we who are “of Christ” have the Spirit of Christ living inside us as well. Inside and out we are covered in Christ. Today I heard a preacher talking about how often we try to fit Jesus and his will into our lives instead of trying to fit our lives into His will. It’s much like trying to tell God what you’re both going to do that day.
“Jesus, I know it would be more beneficial to worship with the Saints this Sunday, but I’m so tired, so I think we’ll just stay home today.” When it’s written like this it seems pretty silly, but we do just this every time we choose to tear someone down or get drunk or disobey our parents or mess around with someone who isn’t our spouse. We even do this when we make a choice not to do something that we should be doing. James 4:17 says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
We are called to allow the Spirit of Christ to be in control. When we don’t, He allows us to reap the consequences of our actions, and we can choose to learn from those consequences like Mija did on the choker chain, or we can remain stubborn and live a life far short of what God has intended for us.
You see, God has this wonderful plan for your life so that it can be the best life possible (Jeremiah 29:11), but if we don’t allow Him to be our puppeteer – if we try to cut the strings and still claim to be His – then we end up with a very messed up life indeed.
This coming Sunday is the beginning of a new year. It’s a great time for a fresh start, and God is great about allowing us to start over any time we are ready. Are you ready to make the decision to allow God to help you find true life in the midst of this messed up world? Are you tired of always messing up because you are always in control? He created you. You are His, and He loves you beyond your comprehension. He has a great plan for you. Do you trust Him?
If you’d like to know more about giving your life to God and having your sins washed away so that you never have to worry about them again, please feel free to contact me. You can reach me at the office at 979-245-1611 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you, and may you have a truly happy new year as you allow God to be in control once again.