JohnSWilson3 Blog

A Singular Focus – “A Dog’s Life.”
January 2, 2012, 10:22 am
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

I was restless tonight and couldn’t sleep, a lot of things on my mind. Had many things that really just pertained to this world on my mind. But after a couple hours I woke up again and an analogy came to mind. As I thought of the different aspects they all seemed to relate to Christ and His body, His ekklesia. The analogy is that of “a dog’s life.”

As a boy I can distinctly remember our family having two dogs. Each one was different, both in how they looked, personality, and characteristics. Our family loved them. They are asleep now, have been for many years. By analogy , each body of Christ, each ekklesia, while they have the same Lord will look different, personalities, characteristics, but they have one singular focus and that is their Lord. God does not cookie cutter churches. Just as He has many members who have a different measure of faith and gift of Christ, so too does He have different looking ekklesias throughout the cultures of the world, but each love their Lord Jesus Christ as they focus on Him.

For the past couple of years we have had two dogs. A miniature daschund, Kandi, and a bishon mix, Lovey. We love them a lot. Kandi is now staying with a friend of our daughter’s and until recently we were given Lovey. Both dogs were rescued. Lovey was found wandering around the back yard of our friends home and one day we had opportunity to watch her for them. My wife fell in love with Lovey and because our friends were about to have their first baby and already had a dog she asked if we could have her and they lovingly did. Lovey is very attached to everyone in the family. I am guessing that because she was rescued, she was found, and given a home she has gotten attached to us as well. Lovey is kind of like us both as an individual but more so like the body, the ekklesia. A wonderful analogy of our being loved and rescued by Christ Jesus our Lord, bringing us into His family, His home.

She, like most dogs, only eats a certain kind of food and drinks only water and of course she is dependent upon us giving her her food and water. She relies on us for her food and drink. This too, is an analogy of Christ Jesus who gives us our daily needs but not only that but is Himself our food and drink.

Lovey always follows me around. Kandi did the same when she was with us. I called Kandi my “shadow,” while I call Lovey my “ghost” because of being white. Often I will see her looking at me, wanting me to play with her. If she is in my lap she will turn her head back and her eyes will just look straight up at me. We almost think she is saying “play with me.” She has a singular focus on her master. Because she loves her master she only wants to please him, it is part of her instinct. The body of Christ’s spiritual instinct is that of a singular focus on Christ Jesus, she fixes her eyes on Jesus, on watching Him.

She loves to play with each of the family members, Stephanie and I, Eva, Stephen, and Teddy. Her only desire is to play with her master. And what a delight it is to play tag with her or play toss with her or run around chasing her! She wears us out sometimes. How we should see that God has given us all things for our enjoyment and His enjoyment. How He delights in us!

Lovey loves to run. She gets so excited when she gets to go for a walk and especially if daddy is going for a run. Yeah, I said daddy, lol. When she sees me get my shoes on, something she is constantly waiting for, she begins to run around, jumps up, and does this spiral motion in the air. It is quite the circus trick. She has had to learn though not to try and run with the leash on. She gets overly excited. The leash though is important because we live in a neighborhood with other dogs and also their are roads and we don’t want her run into the street and accidentally get into the road and get hit by a car. But she loves to run with her master when her master is running! And when we get home she is even more invigorated to play at the house! In the house and backyard she does not wear a leash, she knows how to live with her family, because she is home. As a follower of the Lord we are still in the world and there are things that we should only do as the master tells us to, because of its earthly consequences, but having done so we have experienced time and enjoyment with our Lord. These times enable us to grow further and to enable the rest of the body to grow.

Oftentimes, when going to check the mail which is at the end of a cul de sac I will let her go without a leash and she enjoys the walk or run there and back again. She knows that it is about following her master (at least for this short distance). She can really sprint! As I am walking back from the mail box, I will call for her and she will sprint, “high tailing it” back to the house. She instinctively knows my voice and listens for it, even as she explores the area around our home. We too have been given an instinct, a spiritual sense to hear our Lord and to follow what He says. This resembles the Shepherd and sheep analogy that Jesus used in John’s gospel. And whatever He may be saying it is about not just following Him, but coming to Him, spending time with Him, finding rest in His home.

Brothers and sisters, while this has an analogy for each of us, it is a most wonderful analogy of Christ, the head, and His body. May we be singularly focused on our Lord Jesus Christ, our treasure. In Christ, we are in His home, whether we realize it or not. Our natural instinct when living by His life is to focus on Him, to fix our eyes on Him. It really is about Him, not us. He knows what is best for us because He loves us.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.” Matthew 6:21-22.


6 Comments so far
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Being a dog lover, I particularly appreciate your analogy! If I may carry it a little further: My dog, Maya, and I are a registered therapy dog team. She follows me (her master) into the local nursing home — a place she would have never gone by herself — and “ministers” to the men and women there. She really doesn’t know how much the residents enjoy her visits nor how much happiness she brings to them, but I do. It’s tiring and kind of stressful for her, but she seems to draw strength and confidence by looking to me, staying close to me and even leaning on me. And I am there for her. As you point out, it’s much like my relationship with Christ Jesus, who is my Lord and loving Master.

Comment by Catherine

Catherine, love that! Amen.

Comment by John Wilson

enjoyed the analogy John…. we’ve had a dog ( and dogs ) most of our lives and I’ve noticed much of what you articulated here as I’ve observed our relationship with the dogs.
One of the things we tend to forget is that our lives are not our own anymore… we’ve been ‘bought with a price’… we’re His purchased possession… we’re not even of this world anymore.. and on it goes… In keeping with the dog analogy, they tend to recognize that they’re not their own anymore and adjust and fit in with us, their “owners”… focused on us and pleasing us. Didn’t Paul say somewhere that his aim was to be pleasing to his Lord ? Thanks for sharing our thoughts!

Comment by ronkellington

amen Ron, like that thought that”they tend to recognize that they’re not their own anymore.” Amen.

Comment by John Wilson

An old poem I found in my fathers stuff years ago after he died – author unknown.

I wonder if Christ had a little black dog
all curly and woolly like mine
With two large silky ears
and a nose round and wet
and two eyes brown and tender that shine
I’m sure if He had, that little black dog
knew right from the start He was God.
That he needed no proof that Christ was divine
and just worshiped the ground where He trod.
I’m afraid that He didn’t because I have read
how He prayed in the garden alone.
For all of His friends and disciples had fled
even Peter, the one called a stone.
And oh how I’m sure that the little black dog
with a heart so tender and warm,
would never have left Him to suffer alone.
But creeping right under His arm
would have licked the dear fingers in agony clasped
and counted all favours but loss.
When they took Him away would have trotted behind,
and followed Him right to the cross.

Comment by John G

John G, wonderful poem! Thank you for sharing.

Comment by John Wilson

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