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God on a Leash
Photo: Yap Hong Chan
On many Saturday afternoons we take our dog for a special adventure. We enjoy some fresh air and sunshine by driving to a people park, dog park, or lake with a path. During this past trip we drove to a park, and walked the scrub jay trail. Heeding the park rules, Teddy walked with us on his leash between rows of spiky palmetto. We saw a dead armadillo, several turkey buzzards enjoying the armadillo, and at least four pretty scrub jays. This was new turf for our dog and he seemed a bit uncertain if not stimulated by the new sights and smells.

Since we were the only ones on the trail and our dog usually stays close to us, my husband released him from his leash for a few minutes. When we had walked far enough to start attracting the local mosquitoes, we turned around to return to our parked car. Teddy had hardly been off the leash when he sidled up to my husband’s side and practically put his head back into the familiar dangling leash. Perhaps it was the sight of the buzzards up ahead, or the uncertainty of scurrying sounds coming from the brush. The dog seemed to want Tim to put the leash back on even though he now had opportunity to enjoy his freedom. “I see a spiritual analogy coming,” I said, and started remarking about how some Christians just can’t enjoy their freedom, relying instead upon their chosen “leashes” or rules to make them feel safe.

Just Who is Leading this Walk?

“Maybe Teddy believes that he has ME on the leash,” Tim commented as he clipped the leash back to the chain collar. That was an intriguing moment of enlightenment. Do I really believe that I have God on a leash--not just in emergencies and when I pray, but in the course of our relationship? Do I make certain that He’s with me when the “buzzards,” are circling my path, or when I want to make a beeline to my escape? Just who is leading this walk of life?

Knowing Jesus and His truth has truly set me free (John 8:32, 36). Yet, I acknowledge that He is Lord of my life. Matthew 16: 24 in The Message speaks about how God wants us to walk together: “’Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how.’” 

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By Karen Spruill. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from The Message ®.

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