If you happen to be friends with my husband on Facebook, you no doubt have met the new love of his life. (After forty years together, I no longer qualify as “new.”) I’m speaking, of course, about our newest dog, Noel. If you were to have the pleasure of meeting her, then you quickly would understand. She definitely is a sweetie and a snuggler, and incredibly smart. In fact, she probably knows that “snuggler” isn’t even a real word!
Noel is highly trainable because she truly wants to please. If she gets to please herself in the process, well, that’s just gravy. She has such an intelligent-looking face, and she oftentimes looks at you so intently as though she is trying to read your mind (either that, or she’s trying to hypnotize you into dropping a little snack on the floor…).
Noel and I have started a game whereby I take a few pieces of her favorite treat and we play hide-and-seek around the house. When she finds me, I give her a treat, tell her to sit and stay, and then I go hide somewhere else, call her, and we do it all over again. The problem with this scenario is that I am a creature of habit and tend to hide in the same places, so, needless to say, she usually finds me almost immediately. Oh, I may mix the order up a little, but she knows that typically I’m in one of five places.
Now, I’m not so naïve as to think Noel runs helter-skelter around the house trying to find me because she can’t stand to be separated from me for the time it takes me to hide. No, she is focused on that treat she knows she will get when she finds me, plain and simple. However, I also know she doesn’t need a treat to find me, as she knows my scent and can find me anywhere on our property, as demonstrated when my husband sends her outside to “go find Mommy” and she does.
Today, I decided to up the ante a little and hide in a different place in my office (instead of behind the open door next to the wall as usual). As I hurried from one end of the house to the other, I waived the treats all around to distribute the smell, and then hid in plain sight against the wall where she couldn’t miss me…if she truly were looking for me. I watched her run into my office no less than four times, sniff the air, and then run out again, all the while I was sitting on the floor directly across from her, not five feet away.
So I was thinking…
How often are we like that with God? We run all over the place trying to find Him, but not because we truly are searching for Him, but for what we think He has to offer us, for what we’ll get out of the deal. How much of it is about pleasing ourselves, instead of pleasing Him?
Further, how often is He right in front of us, but we can’t see Him because we really aren’t looking for Him? Oh, we like to think we are, but, too often we get distracted by the scent of the world and completely miss Him, or maybe we just get caught up in the game of Life, and miss Him all together.
Yes, God may seem to “hide” in a new spot now and then, but not because He’s trying to trick us or truly hide from us, but because He wants us to look a little harder, to learn to focus our sights on Him wherever He is; thereby testing, proving and growing our faith to be able to see Him no matter where we are.
Now, more than ever before, it is critical that we seek the face of God, that we hunger for His righteousness, and not for the treats that He gives. We just observed National Day of Prayer on May 7th. My prayer is that you did more than just “observe” it; I hope you joined numerous others in prayer for our country, our leaders, our protectors, each other, and our brothers and sisters around the world. If not, it’s not too late… yet.
We’ve all probably heard the saying, “Lord, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am.” And although most of us would agree with that, of course, the far better saying would be, “Lord, help me to be the person You want me to be.” One of Noel’s favorite “busy activities” is chasing her tail. Yes, it is funny to watch, but all she does is go around in circles and winds up getting frustrated when she can’t catch it. As Christians, let’s not chase our tails, becoming frustrated and entertainment for others. If God is the true “Love of our life” we will chase after Him, and the “tail” of our life will always have a happy “end”ing.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
©2015 Phyllis Knight firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook/PhyllisKnightAuthor