In my other hand I held her bowl. She was twitching, wiggling, and whining. Sitting is hard for her. Barlow is a sweet dog and if you can engage her brain for 25 seconds she can be obedient. But this morning as the smell of fresh dog kibble wafted on the breeze she was not happy. Her whole demeanor yelled, "I'm listening. I'm obeying. I'm so not happy about it." It didn't matter what the reward was. Obedience came at the price of her happy labby heart.
Our Rottweiler, Triton, is a very obedient lug. He's content to lay on his bed when asked, with a watchful eye and a wagging tail he waits. He knows that love, bones, food, kisses and kiddo giggles come when the time is right. Obedience is the way he rolls. His quiet presence fills our house with security. His slow, intentional affection makes you want to spend time with him.
At Mach 3 Barlow has the best labbish intentions. She loves you and she wants you to know it as she stands on her head, in your lap, licking your hand, while wiggling her fool little body with her coffee-table-clearing-tail. If she's excited, she barks. If she's worried, she whines. If she's disgruntled, she grumbles. She's always got something to "say". There's nothing halfway about Barlow's love or her need to play with our family. But caught in the emotional wiggles of life, obedience is forgotten, ignored or avoided. Loving her can be exhausting, irritating and often downright difficult.
Something I've learned today. I'm a kind of a lab these days.
God has called me to a place of obedience. A place where the only reward is time with God. Where the heavenly aroma of a sweet savior wafts on the breezes of my life. There is nothing easy about the uphill, often lonely, sometimes hidden path God has me walking on.
And what have I become? My yellow lab. I whine. I wiggle. I grumble. I want to do it my way. Mach 3 with emotions flapping in the breeze. But now, is not that time.
In the past weeks, months maybe, I have tried to blame others for why I'm unhappy. For why I shouldn't have to walk the path my Master has called me to. They aren' t kind enough. They don't care. They don't see the value in my work. They don't see the need for my ministry. They...they....they. Grumble....whine....grumble.
Whether those things are true or not have no bearing on what the call on my life is. No more than Barlow's want, or not, to sit for her breakfast. I said do, so she should. She will. She must. Or she'll be a very hungry lil thing.
In my life. He's laid it out. Work here. This is your ministry. Do it....or you'll be a very empty lil thing.
And that is what I am. Empty.
I'm hungry for fellowship. I'm hungry for direction. I'm thirsty for my Jesus. I'm empty because an earthly, emotional, wiggling life is hard and there's no substance to it.
Here are words I never knew I'd utter...I want to be more like my Rottweiler. Steady. Listening. Obeying.
Father God, how far beyond my comprehension are your plans and this life. I am sorry for grumbling, doubting and selfish unbelief. As I walk this path you have laid in front of me, please, please strengthen me. Whisper to me. Help me to obey you, so that I might live in your presence knowing that the reward of you is worth far more than the unpleasantness of my circumstances. Amen.