Well, last weekend, Link, the new member of our family, showed us that he cannot only be the cutest dog in the world, but also a menace!
As we headed out to spend a few hours away from home, Dan and I decided that Link could stay in the basement rather than in his crate so he could have more room to walk and also access to water and food. Dan did a great job creating a safe environment for him, so we felt satisfied and we left him trusting he’d be OK. After all, he has showed us that he is such a good boy!
After enjoying the activities of that Sunday afternoon we came back home, pulled in the garage and opened the basement door. Link immediately came out cheerful and tail-wagging as usual. We were happy to see him, until we sat foot in the basement, that is!
I did not know what had happened. It looked as if a tornado had just hit! It took me a few minutes to realize what the mess was. Apparently, Link found the bin where I keep new school supplies and decided that colored pencils, markers, crayons, clay, pens, glue and assorted craft material were just a blast to play with. I don’t know how he did it, but he got in that bin, pulled out as much as he could and destroyed everything he got out. His little teeth chewed up everything, and the remnants were scattered all over the floor topped by a present right from his little intestines…augh! He is such a good doggy! How could he behave like this? He had not had any real behavioral issues! He is a perfect little doggy when we are around…but, things obviously changed once we were not watching him…
As Dan and I cleared the mess and cleaned the floor, I began to think how we are not all that unlike Link. We behave properly, do (or try to do) the right thing and act like civilized human beings when all eyes are on us. The way we behave in the secret, however, may be slightly different.
God’s children are called to be like Jesus. He is our role model. However, it is not easy. I know it all too well how hard it is to try to do the right thing at all times, and especially when I’m alone. That’s why we are not supposed to do it alone. Our Lord knows that, and He invites us to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, to encourage one another, to sharpen one another and to be accountable to one another. Likewise, that is why He sends the Holy Spirit to us, to fellowship with Him, to surrender to Him, to let Him guide us and to keep us accountable even in the secret.
The truth is, we are never alone! That is precisely the miracle of Christmas: God is with us, always. We don’t have to rely on our own power and strength to do what we are supposed to do. We lean on His power and His strength so He can do it through us. Attempting to do it on our own will only lead to feeling like a hypocrite, which in turn makes us feel frustration, guilt and failure.
Link is still the cutest dog in the world. The day we made the decision to adopt him into our family we received him just as he was. And there’s no turning back. We love him just as he is, and no amount of disasters will change that. Time after time, we would get down on our knees to clean up his messes and mishaps. Then, after we give him a reprimand we’ll show him how much we still love him and how much we care for him, and we’ll continue to enjoy his presence among us…
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 2 Corinthians 8: 21
Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. Hebrews 13: 18