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Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 222: Prone to wander

Today's Reading: Jeremiah 14-17

This is what the LORD says about this people:
"They greatly love to wander;
they do not restrain their feet."
Jeremiah 14: 10

We have two dogs.

One is a wise old border collie who loves to work, loves to please, loves to obey. He waits every morning at the door, making sure his family is all safe and sound inside the fold. As soon as one of us leaves, he follows us to the boundary of our property and then waits patiently for us to return. He then follows us back to the house and lies down at the door.

If there are kittens in the yard, he makes sure they are all rounded up and gathered together in their place. If there are geese in the lake, he tries to shepherd them into the family property. He wants everyone in his charge, which means anyone or anything that enters our property, safe and in their rightful place.

Our chocolate lab, on the other hand, loves adventure, testing the boundaries at every turn. She loves to chase after the latest distraction, and tempt and tease anything in her sight. She is proned to wander, sniffing with her nose to the ground, unaware of where her curiousity will lead her.

When we first got her, I thought we would have to kennel or tether her. She had a very strong will for adventure, but fortunately, our border collie's will to shepherd and tend outweighed her wanderlust. Despite the fact that she is 5 years younger than he, he is able to "keep her in her place."

He will be lying peacefully in the shade, watching, watching, watching until the moment she gets a little too close to the property line. Then like a bullet, he shoots toward her, barking, herding and nipping at her until she is safe within the proper boundaries.

As I watch the antics of these two beautiful animals, God teaches me a lesson.

"You are very much like that chocolate lab," God says. "You are curious, playful and not as diligent as you should always be. Note how easily she is distracted. Note how prone she is to wander, following her nose, the immediate that is before her."

"Now, watch my sheperding collie. See his patience. See his attention. See his guarding nature. He is forever vigilant. He is forever observing and discerning."

"Because of his character, he is free. You never need to chain him. He never needs a word of discipline from you. In fact, he causes you only good."

Dear LORD,
Change my labrador behaviors
into border collie traits.
As the hymn states:

'Prone to wander, LORD, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.'

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