Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Just buried another dog
We buried another dog yesterday. Buddy is gone. I always called him the world’s friendliest pit bull and he was. Unfortunately that was his undoing. Buddy craved human attention more than any dog I have ever known. Yesterday, as I worked on writing my blog post, he would come to the bedroom window and give a little whining sound. When he saw me get up he would race around the house to the veranda door, where he knew I would come out. When I did Buddy would reach up for his pets, as he always does. I sat down with him each of the three times he got me to go out and Buddy would almost bowl me over as he crawled into my lap and kissed my face fervently. Buddy had become Trixie’s best friend. They would spend much of their time together exploring and playing.
The problem was that anytime someone pulled off the road Buddy would go visit them and whether it was the farmer across the road or workers on the oil well, he would cross the busy highway to be with them. I got into the truck many times to go and retrieve him from there. Yesterday there were crews out locating and marking pipelines and underground phone cables. I locked Buddy and Duke in the veranda, knowing he would be over there and not trusting Duke to not follow. When I saw they had left I let them out. Unfortunately they came back after lunch and it appears Buddy went over to visit with them. Perhaps it was when they left that Buddy got run over. I don’t know. Never heard brakes or a horn honking, just took out garbage and saw his body on the road. Broke my heart, again.
As always, my dogs teach me spiritual lessons. This one is my tribute to Buddy, but also should make you pause and think. While Buddy was the most loving dog we’ve known, he was also a problem. It didn’t matter how many times you would scold him, he would still cross that highway. Buddy’s pit bull instincts were also a problem so I had to break up fights between him and Rascal, as well as Duke, a few times. So he was a wayward dog who didn’t pay much heed to scolding, yet loved more than any other, always there when we came home or went out the door. But in the end his lack of obedience caused his final demise.
We knew this could happen. In the same way God knows the eventual outcome when His children constantly stray and are self willed. Like I loved Buddy and would go retrieve him when he strayed God loves us and works to get us to come back home, where we are safe and cared for. Proverbs says “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of that way is death”. We need to get real with our faith, and understand that in the end it is life or death. Moses stood before the nation of Israel, after they had been rescued from Egypt, had wandered in the desert for forty years, and just before they were to go into the land God had promised them, and said “I set before you blessings and curses, life and death, Choose you this day whom you will serve”. It was a pretty simple equation, obey and serve God and be blessed or go your own way and get the unpleasant fruits of that decision.
Those fruits are eternal and there is a point where they are final. Some have argued about this, pointing to people who have made millions directly from things that are diametrically opposed to all that God calls good. “Where is their bad fruit” they say. Jesus said “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8)
Buddy is gone. His death is final and there is no bringing him back. The fact is we will all, at some point, stand before the living God, and be called to answer for our life, and we will all suffer the consequences of decisions we make. These are inescapable basic principles of life that so many of us wish to ignore. Jesus also said "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
There is no such thing as “Easy Christianity”. It requires sacrifice, giving up things you like because you choose to obey God. So many preachers these days, anxious to get as many people in the door of their church as possible, make it an easy gospel, and in the process lead millions down that easy broad road that leads to destruction. What is their end?
Again I turn to the words of Jesus, the son of God, who is, who was, and who always will be, and who also will be our judge. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Understand please, that Jesus is talking about church people. They are praying to God, saying “Lord, Lord”, they are prophesying in the Lord’s name, they are casting out demons and healing the sick in the name of Jesus, so they are more than your average sit quietly in a church pew type of Christian, and in their minds, they are right with God so they are self deceived. They are walking down that broad and easy path to destruction, to a bad final end.
The lesson I have learned from Buddy is this. There are consequences to the decisions we make and there is a point of no return, a point where there is nothing you can do. Like Jesus said earlier “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”. We loved Buddy and Buddy loved us, craved our affections, was always there, but…But he went his own way, doing what we tried to show he should not do, self willed and seeking comfort where he should not have. Won’t you learn a lesson from Buddy too? Your life is in your hands. Choose this day whom you will serve. Either God or yourself. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk about this. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I have a Kairos planning committee meeting and at the same time the Ministerial Alliance is meeting, so I must choose which one to attend. While in town I will make a water run and get 20 gallons of filtered drinking water for the house. Don’t like to waste any gas so if I’m going to make the 40 mile round trip to Midland I want to get the most of it I can. I need to buy new windshield washer blades for Cherie’s truck and we can just squeeze that out of our budget. Continue to study for a CDL driver’s license and hope to find a job. Would love to find a church I could serve at as well, but leave that in God’s hands.