Puzzle the Puppy is almost one year old. I don’t know what I will call her then, “Puzzle the Dog” just does not have the same ring to it. Oh, well…I think I am entitled to call her “Puzzle the Puppy” just a little while longer – at least until she stops destroying everything in the house with her incessant chewing.
Puzzle the Puppy is, like so many beings in my home, quite…spirited. She is certainly capable of obedience, but it is always a final option for her. She is not the kind of dog who will simply follow her master due to a sense of loyalty or devotion. Obedience must be required of her.
She does love me, however. Of this, I am sure. She is also absolutely adorable and if things were different, I would always have her right by my side. As I write this post, I am sitting on my porch swing, laptop across my knees, watching the sun set on a perfect early summer evening here in Tennessee. I can see Puzzle the Puppy from here by the soft light of the lamp in the foyer. She is the closest (comfortable) place she can be to me- the piano bench. She would really love to be out here with me but she can’t, because you see…
Puzzle the Puppy only obeys as a last resort. I can’t trust her.
If I allow her on the porch with me, I know she will take off running the moment she sees a bird, or a jogger, or Heaven forbid that obnoxious little white dog from down the street. This morning my husband came inside red faced and panting after taking her out for a moment. She saw a bird across the street and ran. Then, she heard a dog bark and kept running. My husband told me he had to run faster and longer than he had in a long, long time just to catch her and that in his words, I was “almost a very rich woman” because it came close to killing him.
Each morning I see a man walking two dogs down my street. The first, he guides by a leash. The second has a leash as well, but the leash is simply draped over the dog’s back. The dog is, in essence, walking himself and yet in all the times I have seen the three of them on their morning walk, never have I seen that dog stray from his master’s side.
You see, obedience brings freedom.
So, as I sit here watching Puzzle the Puppy sleep on the piano bench, I am reminded of how much she is like me. Too often, I am determined to have my own way. I know what God wants from me but instead of simply obeying out of adoration for my precious Savior, I am reluctant at best and flat out defiant at my worst.
All the while, the Savior must shake his head and say, “What I really want is for you to be free, if only you would obey…”
“I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32