Walking Within the Boundaries

sidewalk with street just beyond

One morning, I took Comet (our beagle) out for a walk, as I do every morning. He was always excited about wanting to go out for a walk!

When we walk, I always have a basic idea of where I do and don’t want us to walk, but still allow him to lead most of the way. Beagles, are dogs that you can’t take off the leash and walk around unless you’re in a closed off area, because once something catches their attention or meets their own agendas, they focus on it and pursue it, oblivious to their surroundings (like cars, or their master’s voice).

But if I let him lead me by the leash, he’ll take me to places I’ve never been before, and we’ll meet people (and dogs) we’ve never met, but I’ve always got a secure grip on his leash to be sure he doesn’t go off anywhere that I don’t want him to go, and to keep him safe from dangers on our walk (like cats, aggressive dogs, etc.).

Comet always wants to cross the street. He’s been on that side before, but for some reason always wants to explore over there, new scents, I suppose. If I haven’t prepared for the walk (bring along water for us both, etc.), then I don’t want him going over there. I actually made the surrounding sidewalks his boundaries. If we go anywhere near them, then I know he’ll be tempted by the other side and try to pull me in that direction. Sometimes he’ll walk me in the direction of the road, for instance, making it appear as if he’s just interested in the tree by the sidewalk, but I know that if we get anywhere near the sidewalk, he’ll try to pull me across the street, a place where we’re not prepared for him to go at the moment. So I pull him away long before it.

People continue to say that Comet is very human-like, but I wonder if maybe humans (Christians) are actually more Beagle-like. We live to please our Master, and love Him dearly, but like beagles, once something catches our attention or meets our own agendas, we focus on it and pursue it, oblivious to our surroundings, such as dangers, or our Master’s voice.

Our Master always has a basic idea of where He does and doesn’t want us to go, but still allows us to sometimes lead the way. If He lets us, we’ll take Him to places that He’s never been (people who don’t know Him), and we’ll meet people that we’ve never before met (imagine in terms of evangelism), but He’s always got a loose, yet secure grip on us to be sure we don’t go off anywhere that He knows is not good or safe for us.

For example, we always want to “cross the street”; for some reason we always want to explore other scenes and possibilities. Sometimes, we’ll walk in that direction, making it appear as if we’re just “interested in the tree by the sidewalk”, but our Master recognizes what we’re doing and knows that if we get anywhere near the boundary line, we’ll be tempted to try and cross it, a place where we’re not prepared for Him to take us at the moment. But if we’re not prepared for the walk (carrying “Living” water with us, etc.), then we shouldn’t go there.

—-Pastor Andy G.

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