2006-11-10 - Theology Lessons I Have
Learned from Dogs
Originally Published 1999-12-29
Since I was five years old, I have been a "dog person." Through the years
I have almost always had a pet dog -- a total of eight. I would like to share
with you what three of them have taught me.
Champ was the faithful, gentle Collie I had as a teenager. I loved that dog,
but I didn't show him often enough. One day I came back from a date, to find
his little lifeless body in my parents' front yard. I felt so bad for not
being there when he left this Earth. I had such regret that I had not shown
him more appreciation when he was alive. Never again would I take for granted
or "leave things hanging" in a relationship. "Champ" taught me that we should
show people and pets, while we have the opportunity, what they mean to us.
He taught me to appreciate every moment of life as a gift to be treasured.
(Eph 5:15-16 NNAS) Therefore be careful how you walk,
not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the
days are evil.
Ralph was a Cocker Spaniel who was a member of the family for 10 years. When
he was at the beach, he liked to chase crabs and chomp their succulent little
legs off. But they didn't make it easy on him. He would sit literally for
hours sometimes, waiting for them to pop out of their holes. He never tired
of waiting. Ralphie taught me that if something is important, it is worth
working persistently, and waiting patiently, for as long as it takes. Like
the persistent widow, the words "giving up" were not in his vocabulary.
(Luke 18:1-8 NNAS) Now He was telling them a parable
to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying,
"In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect
man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying,
'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' For awhile he was unwilling;
but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect
man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection,
otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.' And the Lord said,
"Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice
for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?
I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when
the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
Three years ago, we adopted Pierre. Pierre is a Brittany / Cocker mix, and
an excellent hunter. His hunting acumen impresses even my father, a hunter
of over 50 years. Pierre has the most accurate nose and eyesight I have ever
seen in a dog. Sometimes he will gaze far down the road and start barking
furiously. I don't see anything yet, but I have full confidence that there
is someone or something there. I know that his vision is far better than
mine is. Pierre reminds me that even when we can't see it happening, God
is at work and we should trust Him. Just as eventually a cat / deer / fox
/ rabbit will appear on the horizon, vindicating Pierre's barking, in time
we will see what God was up to in our lives.
(1 Cor 13:12 NNAS) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but
then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as
I also have been fully known.
We think sometimes that we are doing dogs a favor, when we take care of them.
But they often "give" back to us. Sometimes the best theology comes from
God's little creatures.
Dear Lord, thank You for making a textbook out of everything
in our lives, including our pets. In Jesus' name, Amen.