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Thursday, January 27, 2011

more lessons from little dogs

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen. . . I Corinthians 1:27 & 28
Yesterday the Lord taught me a lesson from Gabriel. Today my lesson was from Sebastian. When I woke up I sat up with my feet on the floor and considered life for a few minutes before standing up.  It sometimes takes some determination to stand on my knees.
As I was sitting there Sebastian and Gable got up. They both stretched the cramps out of their bones and scratched a couple itches then hopped down. Gable came and sat not too far from me ready for whatever the day might hold. Sebastian came and pushed himself under my hands and between my feet, begging for, demanding attention. Sebastian is devoted to me on his own terms and when it suits him. His is honestly a case of ‘cupboard love.’
By that I mean that his devotion to me is based on what he can get. Gable’s devotion is constant, regardless of circumstances. Sebastian kind of looks out for his own interests first. Gable would sleep with me if I were on an iceberg. Sebastian chooses to sleep in my room because it is warmer and he can pick his spot to snuggle. In R & M’s room he has to share with Maxim and Mika sometimes it is crowded and it is usually colder than my room. He likes to lie in my chair because it is warm and soft and he can be all cozy even when he’s stretched out. Gable would lay on me every moment if he could even if my chair had rocks where he had to be.
Sebastian is very devoted when I have food. He is Mr. Johnny-on-the spot. As soon as the goodies appear to be gone, he’s gone. Gable stays beside me even when the treat bag is empty. Sebastian will grab a treat from my hand even when it is meant for Mika or Gable. Gable grabs his treat, but only those meant for him. Sebastian is greedy. Gable is patient—well most times.
When I call Gable to me for petting or scratching, he comes and revels in it. He knows beyond any doubt that he’s My Dog and he has complete confidence in that fact. Sebastian, on the other hand, comes to me on his terms and demands attention. He knows I’ll pet him but his acceptance of that attention isn’t as loving and humble as Gable’s. He demands it more those of a spoiled child requiring praise and rewards. And if he doesn’t get it he reacts just as he does when the treats are gone; he leaves. I look up and Gable is still there waiting for whatever I decide but Sebastian, as soon as he’s gotten his quota of petting and scratching, is gone.
Here’s the lesson. Lots of Christians are like Sebastian. They only follow God for the good things they hope to get. And if the good things are not forth coming upon demand they walk away. Oh, they still give lip service and if you asked them they would certainly claim to be a Christian, but they aren’t really. Their devotion is all to their Self. If God is handing out the goodies and the blessings they are right there like Sebastian, Mr. Johnny-on-the-spot, demand their share. But other times you would never guess who they belonged to. Any strangers coming to our house very quickly know which of us is Gable’s Master by his actions and devotion. Do people know who Our Master is within a short time of meeting us?
Now Sebastian is a little dog. He wasn’t raised by me; he hasn’t spent his whole life with me. I love him and I think it’s cute the way he comes and wants to be patted when I’m sitting there in the early morning trying to remember what my name is. But Gable’s devotion has found its place in my heart. If I were forced to choose, it would be Gable. Happily, I don’t have to choose.
Much of the world only comes to God for what they want, when they want it. They pay little attention to Him for 29 days out of the month and then on the odd 30th day they suddenly come demanding a good meal, or worse yet a bag of candy. Not only do they not follow Him, but they go pattering off after other gods. And yet they want to call themselves Christians.
I think if Sebastian would talk, he’d probably claim to be my dog, maybe not. He does spend most of the day with me alone—probably 20 out of the 24 hours—but most assuredly his heart isn’t as faithful as Gable’s is. (lol little dogs and ‘hearts’! But you know what I mean.) He is only with me for what he can get out of the deal. Now, little dogs don’t really have logical intentions so don’t say that I think any less of Sebastian because he is responding to elemental impulses. He’s a little dog and I love him; but God used him to teach me something.
We can’t be like that little dog, only relating to God for our immediate selfish interests. Jesus condemned those people who followed Him around the sea after he had fed them with loaves and fishes. He said, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. He knew what impulse they were following. They didn’t especially want to know Jesus and his teaching, they only wanted some more bread and fish. That’s Sebastian.
Jesus gave them some hard teaching then and many of them left. He asked the disciples, Will ye also go away? Now HERE is Gabriel, Peter said: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:68) THAT is Gabriel. He isn’t going any place because I’m his One—so to speak.
We must take the lessons to heart. In serving the Lord we cannot be a Sebastian, coming to God only for the goodies. We must be like Gabe, devoted and faithful.
Hmmm. The things God uses to teach us. He really will use the ‘foolish things’ and the ‘weak things’ and the ‘base things’ of the world to teach us what He requires of us.

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