“And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12 NIV)
My dog Sophie is such a joy. When we are walking the trails with my granddaughters in the double stroller, the dogs know that there is always one path that we never take, as it is inaccessible with the carriage. It is a trail that the dogs especially enjoy as it rises up quite high over the rocks and also extends our walk by a good twenty minutes, giving them extra time to explore and run.
But when we don’t have the girls with us, choosing the dog’s preferred trail is a definite option and they know it as they bound ahead in anticipation. Four of the five dogs, normally charge ahead and are well on their way down the path by the time I arrive close to the trail head. But not Sophie. Sophie always waits until she sees me. She then runs back and stands looking up questioning whether, we are in fact, going to take that trail today. If I give her the go ahead she is off in the blink of an eye. But if the answer is no, she accepts my decision and happily falls in beside me.
In the meantime, the other dogs have to back track down the path when they hear my call, and catch up with Sophie and I as we have proceeded in a different direction.
Back tracking, is not limited to my canines however, as I too have not always stopped and waited at the checkpoints of life, to see which way God would have me travel with Him. Sometimes those checkpoints have been in regards to small everyday decisions, which require minor back tracking. But other times they have been in major ways which required years of back tracking time as well as pain.
How about you? Do you find yourself rushing down pathways you desire to travel without respectfully stopping at the checkpoint of a decision to ask God which is the best way to go in regards to His will, His service and love? And then, unfortunately, regretting the way things turn out?
Or, are you pretty good about halting at the checkpoints to seek God’s will but then when His answer is no, instead of embracing it happily and joyfully proceeding with Him, you accept His decision with bad grace, which in turn spoils that part of your journey?
If you’re anything like me, you probably have experience in both of these areas. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t improve and become more like Sophie who, of all of my dogs, shows me the most respect, love, service and obedience, something I deeply love and respect about her. For they are qualities that I hope and pray I am learning to more faithfully exhibit daily toward God; qualities that will not only bring me more joy in my relationship with Him, but will also bring Him more joy in His relationship with me.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are always patient and loving with us, even when we fail to stop at the checkpoints of life to seek Your will and way for us. Remind, enable and encourage us, through Your Holy Spirit, to continue to grow in faithfulness in regards to respecting, obeying, loving and serving You with all our heart and soul. In Christ’s name. Amen.