A few weeks ago I helped my 14-year old daughter, Briana, watch our neighbor’s dogs Lucky and Spanky. She was dog sitting while they were on vacation. This wasn’t a fun job, as it included cleaning up the dogs’ messes in the utility room. So I got to help clean up pee and poop and she got paid! Something was wrong with that arrangement!
But the fun part was talking the dogs out for a walk. As we did I remembered the time about a year ago that Briana’s older sister, Jennie, and I took the dogs out for a jog around the lake nearby.
Jennie and I we were running down the sidewalk with Lucky and Spanky in tow. Jennie had Lucky on a leach and I had Spanky. It was a beautiful evening, just before sunset. As we jogged along the dogs were panting with their tongues were hanging out happily – they were having a good time and so were we.
But then all of a sudden Spanky yelped and whimpered. We stopped running and turned around: Spanky had run into a rose bush!
Jennie looked at me and exclaimed: “Dad! Spanky is blind! You have to hold his leash tight and guide him along.”
Oh, I felt so sad! I had run Spanky into the thorns!
Thankfully, Spanky is used to that sort of thing and he’s quite resilient so he got right back on the path, smiled, let his tongue hang out, and resumed running – this time hugging my shins closely!
As we were running I sensed God drawing my attention back to what happened. I realized that it was a parable (God still speaks in parables that come from the surroundings and events of our daily lives)…
Like Spanky I am blind and needing God to direct me along the path so that I avoid the thorns of sin in the world around me. Fortunately, takes better care of me than I did Spanky! The leash connecting me to God and keeping me safe is his Word. Just as Spanky needs to keep close to me through his leash to stay clear of rose bushes so also I need to stay connected to Christ through the words of the Bible to avoid sin.
Meditating on Scripture
Do you stay leashed to God’s words in the Scripture? Do you listen to God’s voice in your daily life? Or do you like running into rose bushes?!
To stay leashed to Scripture is more than just reading it – it’s to delight in it and meditate on it day and night like the Psalm 1 man, taking God’s words into your heart and praying them into your life. It’s to “keep in step with the Spirit” who sustains you in the life of God (Galatians 5:25) by opening your spiritual eyes to see the risen Christ in your midst and inspiring you to trust him as your Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3).
To leash yourself to God’s Word is to let your tongue hang out with happiness as you hug the shins of Jesus! Far from choking or oppressing us, the Bible is a good leash that helps us to follow Christ in the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).