Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Loyalty

Well, it's official, after almost thirteen years of good times and some pretty funny memories, my dad and I are going to go home and take our Golden Retriever to the vet for her "final visit".

When my mom told me it's time, I didnt really know how to react. Honestly, I still dont know what it will be like to say goodbye to a dog I have had since I was in 6th grade, but I do know that I am thinking about it a lot more than I thought I would. Why is that? Animals of all kinds, come and go all the time. More than likely, I will have another dog in a couple years and it too will die, but why is it that dogs are such a prized possession. Certaintly, we spent lots of time and money getting them trained and paying for all the things they destroyed one way or another, but somehow they feel like a important part of our family. Ask a young kid who is in his family, and most likely he will list his dog. Again, why?

If I had to sum up the character of Goldie in one phrase it would be, "anoyingly loyal". That dog ALWAYS had to be around us. Sorry, that was false statement. She always had to be BREATHING on us! Literally, the second you sat down on the couch, she was sitting ON your feet, leaning her full body weight against you, and tilting her panting face back just enough so you could smell the poop she ate just minutes before. I would get up from the couch to escape and go into the basement, and sure enough, seconds later I would hear something that sounded like a stampede coming down the stairs, followed by that sweet aroma once again.

She was definitely all Golden Retriever too. If she wasnt right next to you, her ball was. She loved to play! At the lake, she refused to come inside until the sun went down. She loved the water and most of all, her balls. Again I ask, why do they mean so much to us. I believe it is because they are SO LOYAL.

Goldie was the sweetest dog ever, but if you came in the door unexpectedly, she would bark at you like she was a 150 pound Rottweiler. She knew she was a part of our family and she was going to protect that with all she could muster.

Sometimes I wish I was as loyal as Goldie. I wish I would defend the Kingdom the way Goldie defended our house. To be so loyal that I never talk about my fellow believers behind their backs and always defend the dignity of those whom others are trying to hurt.

Dogs are magnificent because no matter how much you yell at them, they will always be loyal. I wish I was that loyal to Non-believers. What if when people "yelled" at me, I continued to pursue them relentlessly? What if when we sensed their hurt and pain, we just sat with them? Goldie never gave me advice, but she often just layed down at my feet and waited for me to move. It was all my timing, not hers. What an incredible way to love people.

One of my favorite characteristics about Goldie, that I pray I can train in my next dog is she NEVER left the yard. We would litterally open up our front door and let her out to enjoy the sunshine. What if we never "left the yard" of those who we want so desperately to give up on? My prayer is that I will be so loyal, that those I love would know without a shadow of a doubt, that I will never give up on them. I will never "leave the yard".

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fascinated?

Writing about just how mind-boggleing grace is, has left me thinking about all the other things in my life that I have become too familiar with. This time it's Christ and the unfathomable impact He had on EVERYTHING. Think about history. Think about all the wars that were fought over whether or not He is who He said He is. Think about all the families who have split over His life. Then, think about all the believers who lost their life because they refused to deny Him. Whether a Christian or not, there was something about Him that grips us. Einstein once said this:

"I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene...No one can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."

Why have I been thinking about the incredible magnitude of the impact Christ's life has had on us? I believe it's because, lately, I have seen Him at work in a big way. It's probably because He is still alive! I believe it's because Christ is changing our world through life on life ministry. There is an incredible impact that is being accomplished by Christians who are ministering with their hands and their feet a lot more than their mouth. It's not all about passing out a trac and walking away anymore. It's about listening to them, finding out their need, and walking through life with them. Amazingly it's about ministering the way Christ did! Finally! Finally, people who call themselves "Followers of Christ" (Christians), are FOLLOWING Christ!

So, when you think about all the wars that have been fought and families that have been split, don't forget to think about all the victims who have been helped, starving families that have been fed, and houses that have been rebuilt because Christ LIVES.