"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Hound Of Heaven

One of the predominant traits of a dog like Murphy is what is sometimes called the "tenaciousness of a terrier". Even as the smallest puppy, he would show me a stubborn streak both in playing and in training. I quickly learned that this was to be a characteristic that would dominate most, if not all, of our lives together. We would play tug of war and that little beast had no hesitation to do his best to haul me across the room and would not give up until I either let him drag me or I simply let go. Or, we would be outside for a walk and there might be a new fallen leaf which he had not smelled. Knowing that he would stand there and sniff for an hour, usually I would haul him back inside, however the next time we left the house, he would head right to that leaf for his smelling time.

Once Murphy set his mind to something, he would not be deterred. Once, a lizard got into the house and I was able to capture it safe and sound under a butter tub (empty, of course) and Murphy was dead set and determined to dig through me, my legs, the broom, a kitchen table and the butter tub to see that lizard. Of course, I released the lizard back out the door and having seen that, Murphy would prowl the yard for days knowing that 'his' lizard was out there just waiting to be smelled.

Murphy was tenacious, he would not give up if he wanted something and he would keep after a project (like digging a hole in the yard right in the middle of my best centipede) until he was completed to his satisfaction. God has often been referred to as 'the Hound of Heaven". After observing and learning from Murphy, I think I finally understand what that statement means.

God is tenacious...He will not give up on any of us. No matter how hard I play tug of war with God over decisions and circumstances, He will not let go of His side of the rope. I may let go of my end and walk off, but God will throw that rope back in my path at some point and the game will begin again. I have learned through many days and nights that His Love is the most stubborn thing in creation. It never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out. That is a quality far beyond human comprehension.

Am I the only one who seems to try and divert God's attention away from things? He may want me to be focusing on a certain devotional, sermon topic, career decision; however, often I will begin to tell God "oh, well, yeah...I see that, but look at what I can do over here! Don't you remember when I spent part of a summer doing mission work in New York?" And the whole time, He waits for my diversion tactics to wind down, then he gently (sometimes not so gently) points my vision back to the present and what He is wanting now. Then, there are the occasions that I try to convince God of the path I should be going and why He should open those doors. Needless to say, that technique doesn't always work and I should have learned that lesson long ago.

This may not be the most doctrinal or theologically sound statement, but I think God must surely be amused at my efforts sometimes. I have always felt God as such a personal part of my life that I tend to think of Him in an almost familiar sense at times. I am totally convinced of His Love for me and that He continues to guide me in my everyday life. I love Him with all my being and we have been like best friends all my life. Even when I rebel and argue and attempt to go my own way, it is such a comfort to know that my God is there waiting and loving me all the time.

A friend told me in a recent email after Murphy passed away that it is no coincidence that God is Dog spelled backwards. I think that is why Murphy tried so hard in his time with me to get me to learn things that I needed to learn about life, love and God. Friends...don't forget how much God loves each of you, regardless of your acknowledgement of Him or not. He is the tenacious "Terrier of Heaven" and His Love is always waiting for you when you finally decide to come home to Him. And, believe me, His welcome beats a wet lick on the nose any day.

So for today my friends, this is the gospel according to Jimmy.

Be God's!

7 Comments:

At 11:29 PM, Blogger derailuer said...

GOOD GRIEF. you say. " what god wants you to be" etc..
thats SO self indulgent. if you REALLY want to serve god KNOW WHO YOU ARE. and take charge of your OWN life. . God has NOTHING to do with it. You are making the choice for yourself. thats so SELF INDULGENT and TOTALLY SELFISH.
do you use your " god given brain”? or are you just another disillusioned lonely person who is afraid to THINK for himself and therefore comes up with god as a scapegoat for your own inadequacies. .??
some day when you grow up. You may very well see that god is in your HEART and MIND. And all you have to do is tap into that . he has NOTHING to do with your decision .
Your self indulgence is an embarrassment to what I call Christ consciousness.

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Oh my goodness, S&S. As the old saying goes, "a hurt dog barks loudest." God must be dealing with you in a big way for you to be so vehement. I'll certainly be praying for you to have a calmer and happier relationship with God and allow Him to lead your life instead of doing it all by yourself. That tug of war game you are playing with Him, must be getting tiresome.
Jimmy

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Jimmy,

I am always playing that game with Him, most of the time I don't realize it. I try as hard as I can to hear his whispers like Shannon does, but I think the noise around me is to loud. Or maybe I am concentrating on tugging the other end of the rope I can't hear Him!

btw, eloquently put to S & S

Take care

 
At 10:32 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Nancy, you are so right. I don't know how Shannon hears those little whispers and 'wind scraps'. It seems to take God's baseball bat to whack me on the head in order to get my attention. But, on those occasions when I can hear His voice in the quietness, it is a marvelous thing. Keep up the writing..you are doing a great job.
Jimmy

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger Japheth said...

Wonderful analogy!! I so often try to duck God's hand of guidance in my life and what does God do but bring me back around to it again in a different way till I finaly learn my lesson.

Thank you for this neat reminder! I'll be back.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger 2Perky said...

So inspiring...I play the tug of war game with God all the time. It is wonderful to be reminded to just let go....

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Layla said...

I totally relate to what you are saying here and am guilty of just now being diverted from doing an on-line Bible Study to reading your blog. Oops. I think I will go back and finish the study before I cruise around blogdom.

Murphy was a great "guy". It's amazing how God even uses our pets to teach us.

Oh - you you are right about the commenter that was a bit over the top. My saying is this "hurt people hurt people"

 

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