Training a pet ~*~ FOLLOWING GOD’S GUIDELINES?

 

Australian Cattle Dogs are a hoot, to own, train, and just watch.  Our Red Heeler mix named Meg—also affectionately called WagTag—is a genuine HOOT.  The vet told us she has some German Shepherd in her “mix,” and that just increases her attention to who, what, where, when and how people are allowed to enter her domain.

Heelers are hard to train, and they do not “grow up” and settle down until they are almost two years old.  We still have nine more months to go. 

Meg is self-willed, independent, intelligent, strong, talkative, and playful.  She has an unforgiving oral fixation, quick reflexes, speed, and agility.  Meg also possesses a protective, ever faithful attitude.  Does this sound like some people we’ve met?  Heelers are not for the faint of heart, lazy, or the inconsistent trainer.  This breed takes a caring, loving, and attentive person who can see down the road and is willing to work hard to mold a well-rounded, obedient pet.

Learning to train a pet is something that is more caught than taught.

Knowing and loving God is also more caught than taught.  He did, however, give us the Bible as a training guide.  When we become adept at listening to God’s gentle call, we respond in loving obedience and our lives become so much more manageable. 

CASE IN POINT

Several weeks ago a small voice kept saying, “Put your Palm Pilot in a safer place.”  I had decided not to carry a cell phone, and was using the Palm as a mobile e-book reader and address book.  I kept it in either my pant pocket or my coat pocket, neither of which was a proper nor secure place.  I had a small leather zippered case for it, and in that carrier I kept a small amount of cash, two credit cards, a monthly bus pass, my pass port, and my German temporary visa. 

Thursday a week ago there was one more warning and I chose again to ignore it.  That evening after Bible study we took the bus home and the Palm fell from my pocket.  When we don’t listen, God leaves us to our own resources.

We did not discover the problem until Sunday morning.  My husband called me from upstairs and asked if I had purchased an airline ticket with a company out of the Netherlands.  I froze in the middle of stirring a hot pot of cheese and milk – not a really constructive thing to do, if you know what I mean.

I left Alfredo sitting and ran.  There on the screen was a pending charge for $1,143.19.  The next few hours were spent on the phone.  We took a break for lunch, which was not as fabulous as it was intended to be.  An hour later we took up the quest and followed a trail that led nowhere. 

On Monday, Chase was able to take care of the money issue, the online ticket was cancelled, police reports were filed, and an appointment made with the U.S. Consulate in Munich. 

LESSONS LEARNED

That small still voice wasn’t my paranoia.  It was God’s way of trying to watch out for me, but I was neither in the mood to listen nor did I want to be bothered with something as small as putting a treasured item in a safe place.  I was left to my own resources.

Needless to say, I got on my knees and told God how truly sorry I was for not listening, and with his guidance I would strive do better.  I also asked for his help in working through this whole mess.

REFLECTIONS

How often have we ignored God’s voice and eventually been left to our own resources?  I normally end up with a 2 x 4 slammed between the eyes.  I don’t know about others, but that whack on the head hurts.  Normally I wouldn’t ignore that small voice, but somehow over the past few weeks I have been so busy with other stuff and just couldn’t be bothered.

As the fiasco slowly wound down this week, my pass port and visa were found in a drawer.  I quit grinding my teeth, and WagTag who refused to leave my side, sitting and lying for days on my feet, finally left to enjoy one last day of snow fall. 

PARTING THOUGHTS

God is one heavy-duty trainer, and he has a boatload of helpers.  Go figure – there is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, angels, all the saints in glory, pastors, and godly men and women with whom we fellowship.  That is a support team extraordinaire and every member of that team has a vested interest in our growth as a child of God.

And, get this:  God supplies all our needs, he loves us, he cares about our well being, and he fills our lives with abounding grace.

Who could find fault in any of that?  If we had requested those things, someone would surely have asked, “All that and a bag of chips too?”

I discovered early in my walk with God that resting in the Lord is such a fabulous place to rejuvenate a weary heart.  One of my favorite things to do is abide with God through music.  Lately, during tough times, I plug-in my MP3 player, lie down across my bed, and listen to “Amazing Grace.”  It brings my heart to a place of love and understanding for how great God is.

I pray you know God’s abiding love, his endless gift of grace, and that you have learned to appreciate his ability to give us the desires of our heart if we will abide within his will.  For it’s only in his will that we are free.

Jesus.  All for Jesus.  All I am and have, and ever hope to be.

GOD’S GRACE AND PEACE BE UPON YOU ~~~

 

My favorit verse of Amazing Grace:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as a the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s grace
Than when we first begun.
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