Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Lesson From My Exhausted Dog

"those who wait for their master"
Luke 12:36

This is my backyard. 

Actually, this is the side yard.  That's our apple tree, and all the leaves it has dropped in the past few days, because sometimes Autumn doesn't happen in Southern California until late December.  The leaves have taken their time turning colors (those that are going to) and then they all fall off when we get a week of Santa Ana winds. 

So there they all are, making a beautiful carpet on the concrete that surrounds the tree and its planter. 

And that white line through all the leaves?  That's a pathway created by our dog.  See, we've been gone a lot the past few days.  Family and friends came to my folks' house by the dozens, and we were there to spend time with them.  Which means we were not spending time with our dog. 

We don't always put her outside when we leave the house, but the weather has been nice, so we gave her food and water, and let her roam the backyard.  And as you can see, roam she did.  This pathway runs from the back door of the house, to the side gate, from which point she can see the driveway. 

Now, occasionally we have had to put our dog outside for a time, even though we're home.  She's not very stranger-friendly, and she likes to bark.  This makes it hard to talk to visitors, so sometimes we put her outside, as if we're leaving the house, and close the drapes so she can't see us inside.  And if we peek outside at her, we can see her running from the back door to the gate, then back in the other direction, over and over again. 

It must be exhausting, if good exercise.  When we do let her back in, she'll lie down next to one of us and fall asleep.  A very sound sleep. 

It's slightly pitiful, how dependent she is on us.  But at the same time, it's admirable.  She is focused, and devoted, and will not give up looking for us.  I, however, am in a similar situation, but do not react the same way.  The Bible tells me that Jesus will be coming back, and even tells me to be watchful, but for the most part I don't really even think about it, much less watch.  I live my life and go through my routine and do things that are all about me.  Oh sure, I pray and read the Bible.  It's not that I'm not thinking about Him.  But His return is not my focus. 

I get the distinct impression that my dog thinks of nothing else when we are gone, but our return.  Oh sure, she eats the food we put down, and I'm sure she drinks, too, and then takes care of other business.  But it's hasty, and with her eyes always looking. 

Is that too hard for me?  To do the things my life requires but with my mind frequently returning to Him, and hoping for His return?  I guess, in a way, I need the priorities my dog has.

~ "But the end of all things is at hand; 
therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers" ~
1 Peter 4:7

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