As I typed this title I thought to myself it would be great if this was a quote that described my relationship to my Savior Jesus. Unfortunately, it is a quote by a Roger Caras about dogs. My belief, though, is God always has something for me to learn into whatever part of his creation he allows me to wander. So, I looked around the internet and found some other descriptive quotes about dogs. If you are not particularly fond of canine companions, I would suggest you skip ahead a few paragraphs–or stick around if you choose.
“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will forever be yours, faithful and true.” Anon
“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as a dog does.” Christopher Morley
“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” Christopher Hitchens
“After years of having a dog, you know him. You know the meaning of his snuffs and grunts and barks. Every twitch of the ears is a question or statement, every wag of the tail is an exclamation.” Robert McCammon, Boy’s Life
“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.” ― Stanley Coren
“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.” Roger Caras
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” Josh Billings
I also found a good number of articles written about the relationship between humans and dogs such as Why are humans and dogs so good at living together? posted on the Psychology Today website. A few excerpts–“Dogs are extraordinarily attentive and have an uncanny ability to predict what their owners will do, whether getting the dog a meal or preparing to go on a walk. Experiments show that dogs can be astute readers of human body language using the direction of our gaze to locate hidden food, a problem that is beyond chimps…Dogs also seem attuned to the emotional state of their masters and express contrition when the owner is annoyed, for example.”
When I first read these quotes, the passage from Mark 12:30 came to mind,”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” No, I am not comparing dogs and faith. Humans have souls which dogs do not have. Jesus died to save the crown of his salvation–all people. I know that as one of those people for which Jesus died, through faith, I will be in heaven someday. Dogs, I trust to God’s wisdom.
However, having at least one but most of the time two dogs over the past quarter of a century, I can see traits in them that make me wonder about my own walk with Jesus. Our dogs have demonstrated the ability to show apparent devotion and dedication to my wife and I as their owners. As their time with us grows, their whole purpose seems to watch us, stay close to us and in some way attempt to make us happy.
Is that how I relate to Jesus who gave up his life for me? Let me see, I can imagine …
I say to the dogs, “Come” and in their minds they think, “Oh this is great. Let me get closer. Oops, stepped on your foot? Sorry. But I need to be tight against you. How long can I stay here? Oh, this feels so good just to be by you.”
Jesus says I want to spend time with you. I think, “Alright time for some prayer. Let’s see, I have about 15 minutes and then I need to get going. I hope I can finish everything today. Well, maybe I better cut this down a bit, after all I am going to church tonight.”
I say to our dogs “Stay!” and they think “Ok. I will sit here. I do not understand why but you told me to so I will. Boy, this is really tough and I could whimper some, but for some reason you want me here and not there, so I will watch close for when you say it is okay for me to move.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:33 I read, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” In my mind I am thinking, “Really? I just want to go out to eat with those people. It’s not like I will do everything that they do. I really have fun when I am with them. Sometimes I need to make decisions on want I want.”
I take the dogs to the vet for shots. I lead them to the door and say “Come.” and they think, “Nooo. I recognize all those awful smells. I remember last time and boy it really hurt. Don’t leave me here. I do not like this at all but I will follow you.”
When I am facing some pain and difficulty in my life, I read in Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” and I think “God, this is not fair. Why do I have to go through all of this? I am basically a good person. I thought you loved me. I need to find a way to make this go away.”
Ok, maybe dogs do not think that way, but sometimes I do. And for me that is an issue. Dogs listen and follow because of what their master does for them. I need to listen and follow Jesus because of all he has done for me–giving himself as a sacrifice for my sins. That is faith.
Listen and follow the One who gave up all for us. It does not sound so difficult when I think about it that way. Well, better get on with it. Also I have to walk the dogs.
Hope you come back again. I will wait you.
2 comments on “The Focus of Love and Faith and Trust”
Thanks for helping me to see my relationship with God through the eyes of a dog. It is a picture that is both comforting and convicting. Thank you, Jesus, for grace.
I do enjoy every post you write. For some reason I couldn’t respond to your post from January 16th but I felt you wrote that for me to read in my time of dispair. I thank you so much for using the talent God has given you.