Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Dog Named Skunk
Our family owns a dog named Skunk. Now, on the receipt that we got at the Humane Society, it calls her Violet, but we like to call her Skunk because of the stripe on her forehead.

Now that you have seen her, I would like to describe her temperament. She's usually calm, sleeping a great deal of the time at the foot of my bed. She loves people so much, which gets her into trouble, as you'll see in a minute. She and I love to go on walks around our property, and she enjoys smelling all around and going on bunny trails. Unfortunately, when she does chase the rabbits, she usually ends up going onto the neighbor's property.

When we would leave home, we would lock her up in the garage if we were only going to be gone an hour or so, or tie her up outside her dog house. Problem is, she would almost always run away. Of course, she couldn't run away from the garage, but she could get away from her collar when she was tied up.

The first time she ran away, we had simply put her in the garage with the door open for her to run free in the yard. She had an electric collar (it's broken now...long story), and Esther and I had spent countless hours training her not to go through the fence, so we were pretty sure she wouldn't leave. Funny how you can be so sure...she ran away, and went exploring our neighborhood. A guy a few doors down caught her and tied her up, but she got out of his knot, and went running with his rope! We went searching throughout our area, heartsick, but sure someone would find her and call us. That evening, a lady called us. They had found our dog, but were on their way to an evening service, so we would have to wait. What a feeling of joy! When we went to pick her up, she was so happy to see us after being locked up outside in the dark (serves her right, though).

The second time she ran away, she got out of her collar and went for another expedition. This time she ended up with people (a lady and her daughter) again...at a church on the corner. They took her home, and since she didn't have her collar, we were sure she was gone for good. So Esther, Dad and I made signs and then posted them on all the corners. These were good ones, and the lady saw them when she went back to the church. She called us, and we went to get our dog again. This time she was happy to see us, but there were other dogs there that she had befriended.

The third time she ran away, Dad, Esther, Sam and Ben were home (we were at the CFC conference). She left, and a lady found her about a mile from our house. She picked her up, took her to the Humane Society, and then told us that they had our dog. We waited to get her this time until the last day when she would become available for other people to adopt. She was very happy to see us, and hasn't run away yet.

So, what on earth does this dog have to do with a soul? I think she's a good reminder, for me at least, of what we are like towards God. He loves us unconditionally, and because He does, He ties us up or locks us up in the garage. Of course, He doesn't leave us for an instant, but we still get indignant, wondering why in the world He would lock us up. It's for our good, but we don't realize it.

At other times, God is lovingly watching us and protecting us, and we simply run away from Him. We are, in fact, worse than Skunk. When we do run away, we usually end up in situations we wish we weren't in. So He comes, lovingly yet sternly, and rescues us. We are reproved for our sins, and once again sleep under His wing. He quite happily keeps us there until we run away of our own accord once again. He lets us stay in the Humane Society until we realize that we've done wrong in running away and beg for Him to rescue us again.

What a loving God we have! We are so much more annoying when we run away because we do it when He's right there, and yet He rescues us. He does it over and over, too. If we had to do the Humane Society many more times, we'd be broke. But God is not limited by money. He's not limited by anything.

Well, I'm tired and rambling, so I leave this with you to chew on.

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