I love my golden retriever! He is such a blessing in my life. Oftentimes the Holy Spirit whispers reminders to me as I enjoy Jazz. It’s all rooted in the fact that when Jazz looks at me he sees a master - someone to follow, someone to obey, someone to rely on, someone to enjoy life with.
Here’s a few lessons from my golden retriever:
Lesson #1: PRESENCE
Together is ALWAYS better. Doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, Jazz is right there. Just doing it because "together" is the purpose of life. Or, sometimes he’s just waiting to see what he can get out of it - we all know what happens when you open a bag of chips around a dog! Do I expect to get something out of the constant presence of Jesus? I believe I should. Do I choose to worship at all times, enjoying every gift of every activity as his provision for me? Good questions.
Lesson #2: REPENTANCE
Jazz reminds me what it looks like to repent. I don’t have to wonder how he feels about his disobedience, it’s written all over that furry face and he carries the weight of his shame in his body. First, he won’t come when called. Then when he does come, his head is hung low and he’s just waiting for the “Okay, it’s over,” signal to get back to the joy of living and being pet. “I did it, I’m ashamed of it, are we good now?” Do I own my sin this quickly and resolutely? When forgiven, do I go back about my Father’s business with that much relief and joy? Good questions.
Lesson #3: PURPOSE
Watching Jazz run and fetch is a thing of beauty. I am struck when I watch him do what he was designed to do. I can’t imagine what it must be like for God when we take His calls to action seriously and go after it with all we’ve got. The good works He has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10)…what it must look like to the heavenly host! Did my actions today cause celebration in Heaven? Was I about my Father’s business, or mine? Good questions.
Lesson #4: BE LED
My husband gifted me puppy obedience school when we first got Jazz. I’d never trained a dog before and never lived with a puppy I was going to raise. Yep, the lessons were more for me, not Jazz. I was taught that to raise a confident dog you need to give your pup many different experiences and lead them through those experiences with confidence. They will follow your lead and not be scared of walking across a log, or get distracted by traffic noises while listening to your commands for their safety. You will raise them up to be confident in your leadership and their ability. Am I letting God raise me up through the difficulties He’s allowing in my life? Am I trusting His ability to lead me? Good questions.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
I promise you, our Father is speaking to you. Are you listening?