Thursday, November 12, 2009

Discipline, the Dog, and Me

Do to a series of unfortunate events, me and the army of dudes who live in our house have inherited the duty of dog-sitting a non-house broken Jack Russell terrier.  It is as much fun as it sounds.  It could also be called a Jack Russell terror, and it could (and often is) called things that aren't ultra-appropriate in print, but one phrase in particular does in fact mean "female dog."  Although watching Isabella run laps around the dining room table is amusing, watching her crap on the carpet after you took her outside is decidedly less amusing.  Nevertheless, I am amazed at the depths of hate and rage that I find in my heart whenever the dog does the many evil things it does.

Today, after an amazing morning at Pastor's School, I decided to "show my righteousness" and take the dog on a walk in Shelby Park.  A lot of things struck me as I was walking, particularly about the way I tend to relate to God.  Isabella is a mass of contradictions.  One minute, she's pulling hard, straining ahead against the leash.  The next she's skittish, cowering, afraid even of shadows.  When at street crossings, she'll choke herself against the leash if it means she gets closer to the traffic that would kill her, were I not willing hold her back.  Upon returning to the house, I let her run free in the rooms we've cordoned off for her, but no sooner had I turned my back, then I found her on the dining room table, trying to get food when her bowl was full.  As soon as she saw me in the dining room, she immediately scampered off the dining room table.  As we've watched her, I've been one of the main disciplinarians, holding her nose to her urine or feces while soundly smacking her hindquarters with an open hand.  As I reached towards Isabella to discipline her yet again, I was surprised to see her roll onto her back, attempting to hide from the coming thump.  She snapped at my fingers, but nevertheless, she was disciplined and carried back to her pen.

During the walk (and after the dining room scene) I couldn't help but think I'm the same way.  Straining against God's sovereign directions and plans, fleeing opportunities out of cowardice and fear, spinning to avoid his discipline.  What a thought, though, that God's actions towards me are always love, are always gracious, are always for his glory and my good!  In Psalm 73, Asaph writes of how he had been like a beast toward God, brutish and ignorant, even though God is a good and deals justly.  This week has been a time of comfort for me as I've had chances to reflect on God's goodness and sovereign control of my life.  Praise God for his constant mercy and care for us, his creatures!


At 4:56 PM , Blogger Rebecca Dennison said...

Psalm 23 has been rattling around in my brain the last couple weeks and this post reminded me of the second part of verse 4: "your rod and your staff, they comfort me"


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