I was walking along a popular beach during midday. Some people were by themselves like me, and others with a friend or with their dog. I kept observing the interactions between the dog and its owner.
‘A man’s best friend’ people say.
By his side
I saw dogs wagging their tail as they walked by their owner’s side. The dogs were also looking at the surroundings – the calming sea on their right, people running in front and seagulls flying in the sky.
This imagery made me reflect on my journey with God. Where am I in my journey with him? Just as the dog owner is desperate for a companion, God longs for me to be right by his side – walking with him and enjoying each experience together. How close to him am I walking?
To his will
Yes, the dog was glancing at the surrounding nature and frequently back at his owner. A wooden stick even more so stole the attention of the dog. He was eagerly waiting for the stick to be thrown. Fetch was his favourite game.
Maybe doing God’s will is like playing a game of fetch. My eye is on my owner, waiting for him to throw something for me to fetch. I will fetch whatever he throws with the same focus. Similarly, what activities are God throwing for me to grasp? What people are there in my life whom God wants me to run after and bring back to him?
I observed a few dogs immersed in the sea splashing around and not wanting to let go of the stick. The dog was distracted by his surroundings and self-centred in pursuit of his satisfaction.
Many times, we are side-tracked by what is going on around us. We may place too much emphasis on relationships and excessively relish time spent with our community.
Have I forgotten God’s call on my life? God loves community, but have I neglected his intention of communion first and foremostly with him? Or maybe the satisfaction derived from wealth and places of leadership negates the fulfillment in doing his will and bringing people to his presence through these very gifts.
Unleashed to catch
There are times when dogs are on a leash during their walk and times when they are set free. Nevertheless, they come back to their owner when called. They bring the object back to their owner and not someone else.
In the same way, God grants me the freedom to metaphorically roam the beach. I have the choice to walk next to my owner or run ahead slightly while looking back and wait for the ball to be thrown. What will I do when I am unleashed and set free? Will I still be looking at my owner and listening to every command he gives me?
Who is my owner?
God has already chosen us; he calls us to follow him. He longs for us to walk by his side and to play fetch. He wants us to have freedom and enjoy running along the beach playing catch with our eyes still fixed on him.
But what if we have chosen a different owner? What if we continually bring the stick or ball back to them. Someone who doesn’t know us and our limits. Someone who doesn’t have our best interest at heart. We risk running into danger and far away from where we would have liked to be. We may become tired from doing tasks beyond our capabilities however temporarily satisfying that may be.
So, who are you following as your owner?
A pivotal question for us all.
Stephanie enjoys simple living, admiring nature’s beauty and intricacy, and playing the piano. She is particularly passionate about empowering the vulnerable. Writing is her way of processing thoughts and feelings to understand herself, God and the world in a deeper and more meaningful way.