Running from Our Calling

I have a golden retriever named Theo who is my pride and joy. He’s such a mess and has a great personality. He loves everyone and is as sweet as can be. But he is also an attention hog, and a little prone to mischief that could get him in trouble. Well, my precious Theo ran off yesterday afternoon.

We live out of town and he has a large area to roam, complete with a creek and a pond and you’d think, all that a golden retriever could ever want to entertain himself. But as there is no fence to keep him from leaving, he’s kinda on the honor system and a watchful eye to keep him safely at home. Plus, he’s a velcro dog who seldom lets me get far from his sight, and he mine, but he’s done this several times before and usually goes to the same area. However, it’s not safe for him or me. I had to buy a tracking collar to keep him from getting himself and the both of us in a fix. 

Happy Golden Retriver
Map of Theo's little adventure

To be honest, I’m not that happy with how it works, or should I say it doesn’t work much of the time. I mean it works but it’s frequently slow to notify or update his location and has some issues that I consider bugs and flaws in the system, so I’m a little hesitant to give the brand my hearty recommendation.  But it did work somewhat well yesterday and when I realized that he was gone I looked at the app. Sure enough, I had a notification that he had left his safe area. I had just been busy and had not seen it.

From the app, I could see on his GPS collar that he was in fact headed for the usual area.  So I got in the truck and drove around to hopefully head him off before he got any farther. When I got close to him, I started calling for him to come to me. That little turd head heard me calling for him and knew he was in trouble. So what did he do?

Instead of coming to me as I called, he high-tailed it back to the house, beat me home and started barking at me when I drove up like he had been there the whole time. Like I had not been watching him on the app running as fast as he could. He straight-up lied to me.

But when I got out of the truck, as soon as I said something to him, he knew he had been caught. He cowered and wanted to get in his bed like he had been abused. I didn’t even lay a hand on him and He has been mopping around remorseful for his sins ever since then. However, I have a feeling that he has not repented from his sinful behavior. He will do it again the next time he smells something and is tempted by his nose. And I swear sometimes he does it because I am working on something else instead of paying attention to him. He still remembers where he used to go and wants to go back to play. 

Will you come when you are called?

The thing that I find fascinating about this is that even animals (don’t tell him that I called him that) have a will, albeit not free, and some understanding of right and wrong. They are capable of experiencing remorse for getting caught doing something wrong but not true repentance.

“The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so.”

Romans 8:7

And just like I with my dog, it is Christ who loves us even in our sin and comes running to find us. But he doesn’t need a GPS tracking collar and an app. Upon finding us, we may face some consequences for our sins, we’re responsible for our sins, but he has paid for you and bought you with his blood. He is faithful to forgive. He bathes us in his word and cleanses us of our filth. He soothes our wounds and pats us on the head. He feeds and nourishes our bodies and provides for our every need. He wants us to have pleasure and wants us to have fun, but he has rules and commands to follow. Not to keep us from those things, but to protect us from ourselves and the hidden dangers of sin that our minds are not capable of perceiving. It is his grace, love, and mercy that sustain our lives and keep us from falling. It is him alone. 

Who is your master? Are you your own? Are you chasing after your own fleshly desires in this world? Or have you been called by Christ?

He stands ready to receive you as you are and will clean your life up. He won’t stop calling you. He knows where you are. He will chase you down and you’ll only get more tired, tick-infested, and dirty when you keep running.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:27-28
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