Going to the Dogs… or Maybe Not

My husband and I have developed our own dog ranking system, partially in jest and partly because…  well, partly because.

In order, the Official Davis Hierarchy is:

  1. Good Dog
  2. Has Potential
  3. Bad Dog

Allow me to embellish.

This is Mayumi:

Yumi001
Mayumi

Mayumi is a Good Dog.

She is very obedient… with occasional exceptions, typically because I haven’t given her adequate exercise. When small children are over, she’s gentle and submissive. As for tricks, she can jump through hoops, sit, stay, high-five with alternating paws, close the door (well, sometimes), and play dead.

As a puppy, she would lay quietly in her crate as long as she could see me. Mayumi is my loyal companion who follows me from room to room and generally wants to be near me. She is calm and can be trusted with people of all ages and animals of all sizes. I love this dog!

This is Chestnut:

Chestnut Has Potential.

For the most part, he is obedient (even coming when called more faithfully than Mayumi), but he does lack self-control.

He absolutely adores people – exuberantly adores them with wild, oafish boundings and clumsy gyrations that threaten the vertical stability of moderately sized humans. Chestnut also has trouble holding his licker and frequently leaves slobber trails on… well, everything.

Due to his… ah, enthusiasm… we crate him when small children or elderly people are visiting. Not all furry things that enter our yard survive – except the three skunks that got him first (honestly, three times !!! Sheesh!!).

My husband and I joke that his tombstone will read RIP Chestnut: He Had Potential. 

I have no pictures of Sable, but she was aptly named. Sable was a Bad Dog.

In the brief time she lived with us, she managed to frighten the children (who were still very young), lose all off-leash privileges inside and outside the house, and made me rue the day I first saw her.

On her second and final chance off leash in our yard, this demon dog attacked me. Fortunately, I had some training in judo and her snarling challenge went rather badly for her. I walked away from the encounter carrying her by the scruff, angry but unhurt.

Sable became a junkyard dog.

…And this is our Miscreant thinning the herd of origami reindeer given us by the talented Mr. Leonard Gluck.:

But he’s in a different class entirely.

These animals -or more specifically, their rankings – remind me of myself.

Before I came to know and love the Most High God, I was as dark-hearted as Sable, a miscreant in an altogether separate category – an aimless and nameless wastrel.

But instead of meting out the death penalty I had earned, God did something altogether unexpected and remarkable: He sent His only Son to live out a pure human life without sin and then to die in my place. He – Yeshua Messiah – satisfied justice as the spotless atoning sacrifice; the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

When I deserved pitiless death, I received mercy… and yet God did not stop there. With grace beyond my wildest reckoning, He raised His Son to life again – and promised if I would unite myself with the Son by dying to my own selfish nature and desires, I would be granted a share of His resurrection, too!

Although I was a reprobate, the King called me Daughter.

Although I deserve to pay for my sins, He not only forgave my debt but lavished upon me a spiritual inheritance of inestimable value. What’s more, He has brought light and life to all that was darkened and deadened within me.

My Lord and my God! May the wonder of it all never cease to astonish me!

If I truly love Him for this incredible gift, my life ought to reflect nothing short of complete devotion and steadfast loyalty to Him.

Kind of like Mayumi is with me.

Where He is, I want to be. When He commands; I want to obey promptly. Though I may slip up from time to time, I earnestly desire to be fully His, wholly trusting Him and trusted by Him around people of all ages.

May I never be a casual partaker of Grace, giving the Almighty a perfunctory nod as I tuck His gift carelessly in a pocket while asking Him to bless my self-determined course!

In short, I do not want to a disciple who merely Has Potential…

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9-10

6 thoughts on “Going to the Dogs… or Maybe Not

  1. Heather, thank you for penning such a beautiful synopsis of the life of His devoted children. Your reference has been part of my week’s meditation, along with a daily devotion of Psalm 73:24-25. “I was foolish and ignorant, as a beast before you. Nevertheless, I am always with you. You hold me by my right hand; you guide me with your counsel, that afterward you may receive me into your glory.” The Lord bless your week-end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Psalm 73, too! I know there have been many times that exact portion you quoted has been significant to me, especially when I get a little whiny with our Lord. Thank you for sharing, and may your weekend be filled with His grace and joy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such beautiful words! I especially liked:
    “Where He is, I want to be. When He commands, I want to obey, and though I may slip up from time to time, overall I want to be fully His, wholly trusting Him and trusted by Him around people of all ages.”
    That is the mindset we all should have in entrusting our lives to the Creator! Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “May I never be a casual partaker of Grace, giving the Almighty a perfunctory nod as I tuck His gift carelessly in a pocket while asking Him to bless my self-determined course.”

    The prayer above is quoted from your write up. It is really striking. I felt so touched considering that even with the immense outpouring of God’s Love on us, we may still be so casual about Who He Is and What He Does.

    I try to imagine how tough it will be to cope with pouring perfect love on people who treat me casually. Hmmm.

    I have got a long way to go. Father’s Love is just the greatest. May we be more like Jesus.

    Lots of Love to you Dear Heather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our Father’s love is truly remarkable. I am constantly amazed at the wide variety of ways He reminds me of His love and exposes the true motives of my heart.

      I think we all have a long way to go, but thanks be to God that His grace is sufficient for us! I have prayed often that He will help me see people as He does rather than just react to them in my own sinful state. I, too, have a long way to go! 🙂

      Like

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