Obedience Training

I was thinking about how, having grown up with pets, we never took any of our dogs to obedience training. Other than Barney, the wonder dog I rode like a pony when I was five, all of our dogs came from the animal shelter. The current pup (pictured to the right) is nine years old, and another in a long line of incredibly awesome dogs my family has had. Every single one of our dogs has meshed right in with the family and been house-trained rather easily. Yes, even at 100+ pounds, Chess stays indoors more than outdoors. No big discipline problems, and always well-mannered when on the leash.

The more I thought about it, the more I reflected over the last two weeks in my own life. God was putting me through some obedience training, that I so desperately needed according to Him. Obedience is the word He led me to adopt this year…and He has wasted no time in putting my strong will to task. Without going into pain-staking detail, the last two weeks have been like the training you would do for an obstacle course competition with a dog. Each time, God would ever so gently tug on that leash and say “Let’s go.” I’d start to backup defiantly, bracing and flexing my muscles, churning my stubbornness into determination. And He’d stand there and wait, holding the leash. I didn’t learn on the first run through, by the third though, He was leading me through jumps and I was like “Yeah! I’m following Your lead God…take me wherever.”

I have to say, those times where I was at the bottom of the ramp and He was at the top, saying “C’mon. I’m up here, I want you up here with Me. It’s safe, trust Me.” I would pull back, I would question. I would run over every scenario around that ramp. That’s when I truly got smacked in the face with the truth that I wasn’t trusting Him with even the smallest things. I wasn’t putting one foot out onto that ramp knowing He’d lead me into His embrace, where He had walked, what He’d gone through. I’m learning, ever so slowly, to not leave the leash tout but to move up closer by His side with some slack in the leash. That’s the picture of obedience to me right now.

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