So my wife and I got a new dog a few months ago and let’s just say that it hasn’t quite been the journey we expected, because Jacob Roman (whom we simply call Jake) has had way more energy than we ever expected. Here are a few examples:
As you can see, it’s been an interesting few months. I think it’s safe to say I’ve lost my patience with him a few times. He’s got an attention span of about 2 seconds, a lack of discipline, and most likely some separation anxiety.
That being said, it’s been a lot of effort on my behalf to discipline him and teach him how to live with this family in this house. But despite my discipline, he still continually does things he knows he’s not supposed to do. And you know he knows he’s not supposed to do the things he does because of the way he slinks away the moment you see something that he’s destroyed or the moment you pick that thing up. This is typically how it goes with him.
But yesterday was a bit different. He was playing with his new Christmas present when he accidentally hit a stack of folding chairs with his face. The first chair fell to the floor with a loud “WHACK” and the other two followed to do the same. He immediately slinked away into the corner. I wasn’t upset about this at all—I knew it was an honest mistake—so I threw my arms open to Jake so I could hug him and tell him it was cool.
“What kind of mind game is this?” he must have thought to himself as he quickly jumped backwards, thinking he was in trouble. I kept calling his name, trying to make my voice sound friendlier and higher, but he wasn’t going for it. He was so certain he was in trouble and there was nothing I could do to get him to come to me. I couldn’t even approach him without him running away! I put my arms out to invite him to jump up on me, which he loves, and he wouldn’t even do that.
The metaphor stabbed me right in the face. Yeah, that’s right—THE FACE! I don’t know what it is with cats and dogs teaching me lessons about God, but for some reason they do. I imagine God often holds out His arms to invite us into His presence and that we misinterpret it. We want to run away and hide, afraid that He’ll pour wrath down on us, when in reality He just wants to love us. He speaks, and like Israel, we say “do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”
So run if you must. But chances are you won’t find peace there.
Speaking of Jake the dog: