Lessons from Life, Part Five

A Requirement for Freedom

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the new addition to our family – a beagle puppy, named Cody.

Now, no one warned me about beagles before we purchased one – but they are about as stubborn as any breed alive. This is a fact we are learning first hand (and learning and learning and learning…). Isn’t it interesting that plenty of people told me about this, after we had purchased this little guy.

Cody is one stubborn puppy. What Cody wants to do, Cody is going to do – regardless of the consequences. And regardless of what we want him to do. He has that little look about him, when you are trying to get his attention and keep him away from something he shouldn’t be doing. He glances over his little shoulders at you with the look that says, “Sorry, silly human, I have no intention of listening to what you have to say!” It can be quite maddening!

NOTE: By the way, I have discovered that what any parent, guardian (or puppy owner!) wants from those under their charge – is just simple obedience. Just do what you are told to do – and all will go well for you (This is a life principle, applicable in so many situations!).

But we also have another dog in our household. In contrast to Cody, we have our golden retriever, Daisy. She does what she is told. When we call her name, she listens and obeys whatever we tell her to do – even when she just might want to be doing something else. Because Daisy listens to us, we allow her a great deal of freedom. She gets to go exploring in our woods because when we call her, she responds. More important than what she wants to do, is what we want her to do. She is more intent on pleasing her masters, than on doing her own thing. Our conclusion: Daisy is a good dog!

I was thinking about this very thing, just the other day, when we were going through our “outdoors pottie” routine. With Daisy, we just let her out the door – she gets to go where she wants to do her business. With Cody, however, we always have to put him on a leash. If we were to give him the freedom that Daisy gets, he turns into a crazed idiot (darting out into the street, making a beeline to eat things that he knows we don’t want him eating, and so on). With freedom, Cody becomes uncontrollable – and, much worse, a danger to himself.

But, because Daisy listens to us, she doesn’t need the physical restraint that is mandatory for the uncontrollable puppy. Here’s the thing: BECAUSE Daisy obeys, she has earned her right to freedom. Because we can trust her, she gets to run free. On the other hand, because Cody refuses to obey, we have to keep him on a tight leash – to keep him safe… and alive!

In so many ways this is a picture of God and us. He loves us all (just as we love both Daisy and Cody), but He must treat us differently, according to the trust He can safely afford us. If we are stubbornly intent upon doing our own thing, He has to keep a pretty tight reign on our lives. AND because we are more interested in pleasing ourselves, rather than pleasing Him, we find our options pretty limited. He can only trust us with “little things” until we can prove that we are faithful (obedient to please Him) and He can move us on to “bigger things (more responsibility AND more freedom).” {See Matthew 25:14-23}

What is more, God’s relationship with us can only grow deeper as He can trust us. How many times would He love to give us something special, but He just can’t, because He knows that we would just use it selfishly — without regard for His desires or plans for us. At the center of real relationship is trust – and at the center of trust is obedience (and the desire to want to be pleasing to the One we love!).

And how many of us have missed God’s best for us, because we have been so stubbornly-set upon our own things, goals, and desires. God seeks to bring us into the fullness of why we are His, but we are more intent on running wild and running free!

Putting a “wild animal” on a leash is just no fun. It’s a pain to have to “do the drill” just because you are worried about what could happen if you didn’t. What we really want is for both our dogs to be free to roam and explore and “do their business” without having to watch them like a hawk. We want them to be free – but they have to earn the trust that comes with that kind of freedom.

It’s simple, really… With obedience comes freedom.

For dogs… and for us wily humans.

Just chillin' with my bud...

Just chillin’ with my bud…

More thoughts on this topic coming soon…

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About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
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