Thursday February 16th 2017
@home @the table @6:30 a.m.
“Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”
God chooses us, God has a plan for us, God has steps ordered for us, God has prepared for us a field of endeavor.
Do we hear God well enough to hear him when he says, “This way.”
I am lead to think of how I have been training my dogs and the difference between the old dog and the new puppy. And how they respond to me.
Training the dogs on the leash, during our daily walk, I do not give and do not have to give very many verbal instructions.
I use a short leash to keep em’ close.
The dogs respond to the corrections given along the way through the short leash.
Usually minor adjustments given with light hand pressure.
If a safety issue arises it is dealt with an audible ‘whoa’ command accompanied by me stopping in my tracks.
Then another verbal cue is given to start walking again and if we are changing directions to the right or the left.
The young puppy requires a lot of verbal cues with hand pressure applied to the short leash.
The old dog watches me and moves with the pressure of just my body language. I can walk him without any corrections from the short leash, in fact he stays so close that there is slack in the short leash.
The old dog still needs correction and reminders for safety but you don’t have to be very loud about it, a soft ‘whooa there’ does the trick.
Where the old dog gets wary is around other dogs, his own kind, who in the past have charged out of their yards and attacked him without cause.
The puppy doesn’t care, she hasn’t been hurt yet.
The old dog has been bit!
His breeding doesn’t allow for him to back down, he is built to move forward, toward the situation as he is a shepherd dog and needs to be brave, it’s built in.
And so, he needs to be taught a different response to the ensuing action which will go against his natural tendencies.
His very nature.
But you know what they say…
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
It’s not impossible, just hard.
I am that old dog.
Walking with Jesus sometimes so close to him that I move when he moves.
Other times I’m on the fight!
But through it all I have come to rely on His short leash, which conveys the corrections ever so gently from His hand…
Did you know as the Good Shepherd Jesus has some sheep dogs working with him?
The guard dogs are found in Psalm 25:21
“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.”
The Australian Shepherd sheep dogs are found in Psalm 23:6
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..”
And like any good sheep dog or guard dog, God’s word is there, circling us, following us, harassing us, urging us, encouraging us and moving us along all the days of our life, along that path that God has laid out for us in his love unfailing.