I took off on my morning walk this morning and had just left my driveway when I heard the pitter patter of rapid steps behind me. Worried it was someone’s loose dog, I zipped my head around and saw someone’s loose dog alright, mine! Jewel had once again escaped through a hole under our fence, wanting to join me on my morning trek around the neighborhood.
She cowered as she looked up sheepishly at me with that cute doggie smile, knowing inside she had achieved a great feat by catching up to me, but there were still consequences for the break out. She was sent off to solitary confinement in the laundry room so I didn’t have to worry about another escape. Being merciful, I promised to walk her after I returned.
There’s a reason I don’t take Jewel out on the leash that much. It is work. Even several sessions with a local dog whisperer did not teach us how to keep her from pulling us around the block rather than leading her. I am generally a walker, but I learned it is better to run with Jewel so she is not gagging on the leash and the ligaments in my arm aren’t being stretched beyond reason. When I put the leash on her collar, it’s getting to where she starts to gag before we even leave the house and we haven’t moved yet! I guess she’s conditioned herself to believe that’s just what you do when you’re on a leash.
As I’m trying to keep up with Jewel, it occurred to me that our relationship with the Lord is often times like my “walk” with Jewel. We race off in a direction that is not of God rather than let him lead us. We are an impatient people and want things to happen now. We tug and pull and gag when it would be so much more pleasant if we just walked side by side with God at the pace he set out for us.
My goal each morning is to ask the Lord to order my steps, and because I do tend to want things to happen faster than they do most of the time, I find the words of Psalm 143: 7,8 work well as a prayer:
Answer me quickly, LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
My dog Jewel will probably always pull me on our walks together but we don’t always have to pull God! Our daily walk with him won’t be so strained if we just let him guide us.