As I was researching material for my book, I found myself turning to my Bible to see how dogs were portrayed in scripture. In the book of Genesis all of creation was declared “good” by God. Then, after the flood of Noah’s day dogs fell victim to their own bad and unacceptable behavior. Because of this dogs assumed a deplorable identity in scripture.
But yet dogs of today are highly valued, loved and esteemed. What has caused this change? It is my view that mankind’s relationship with dogs had a “redeeming” effect on them. Today, our beloved pets are committed to the way of love.
When I see how dogs have responded to man’s love and affection, and consider my use of the word “redeemed,” I find myself reflecting on my own redemption and how I have responded to God’s love and affection. Am I committed to the way of love? Is my relationship with God such that I find it difficult to live without Him?
I am working on another chapter in my upcoming book. This chapter is going to be called, “First,” given the fact that my dog, Lucky, experienced many firsts as a puppy. When I consider the word “first,” my mind wants to take me to so many different places. Consider these possibilities of the word and see where your mind takes you:
Doing something for the first time. A phrase also comes to mind, “there’s a first time for everything.”
The lowest item of significance in a game or structured activity such as first base in baseball (you can’t score without advancing past 1st base).
First prize, besting all others in a given event or activity.
First day of a each new month, a renewing process that propels us through the calendar year.
A word associated with the letter “A” or the number “1.” Is One the loneliest number? (a Three Dog Night song)
The beginning or first task required in sequential tasks. I’ve been told many times, “Do this first!” or “First things first!”
Favorite person or thing, “numeral uno!” or BFF (best friend forever).
Prioritizing a person, relationship or time at the expense of all others. Remembering one’s wedding vows or recounting a salvation experience.
As my dog aged to adulthood, we grew closer together because of the many experiences we shared. I became his numeral uno, his first priority. He ultimately spent hours waiting for me to come home from work just so we could share a few minutes doing one of his favorite activities.
In my reflections, which I include in the book after each chapter, I observed Lucky’s dedication and devotion to me and it caused me to consider my own priorities in life. What am I doing to prioritize the important people in my life, especially the God I serve?
As a dog owner, I am well aware of how short a canine’s life span is. I have buried two dear creatures. No matter how few their years, dogs are fully devoted to their masters and will spend countless hours waiting for a chance to be with them, even if its just for a moment. One of the many reasons they are deemed man’s best friend.
As a person, I am also aware of how short life can be. Both my parents died prematurely. I take solace in the fact that they now enjoy a new life together in eternity. One cannot consider eternity, however, without taking into account the Onebeing who created and inhabits it. The eternity we are all headed for will either be spent in the Creator’s presence or apart from him. If I desire to be with God it would behoove me to get to know him, spend time with him, and wait upon him for guidance.
For since the world began,
no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!
This week’s quote affirms a dog’s willingness and capability to address one of our most basic needs–companionship. Canine companionship, however, has one major limitation, it doesn’t last forever. A dog’s presence in our life, however, does point to an everlasting companion.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NLT
This quote makes me think of people who truly have a heart for God and readily acknowledge that everything they possess is a blessing from Him. Those who maintain this attitude remain humble and grateful, and elevate God to his proper place. These same folks, brimming with gratitude, find themselves passing on a blessing or two to others.