Have you ever noticed the parallels between raising children, training puppies, and our walk with Christ? I don’t mean to dumb it down any by comparison between people and puppies but often the same principals apply in the training process.
We have a German Shepherd puppy and an 11 year old chocolate lab. There is a vast difference in their manners. The lab is seasoned, fully trained and not in a hurry. The puppy is exciteable and at times I think she forgets that walking is something she’s capable of as run seems to be the only pace she moves at lately. On a side note, she has turned out to be a fantastic running partner!
Each morning as I approach to let Heidi (that’s her name), out of her kennel she immediately gets overly excited. She starts barking and pawing at the sides of the kennel in an attempt to get out. The wild display of impatience is one I end up spending at least a half-hour each morning training out of her. We go through with series of steps in order to get her to calm down, lay down and wait.
As I went through the process with her this morning I noticed that as long as her eyes were on me she’d wait patiently and progress was being made. But then she’d be distracted by the impulsive desire to rush ahead and we’d have to start all over again.
Once we successfully get her out of the kennel we need to successfully go through the house to the back yard and let her out. At this point her new struggle is to stay next to me and not shove me over as she dashes past to run through the house.
Again when she stays close with attention on me then she can quickly pick up on my next move and follow with ease. But when she is busy sniffing the floor looking for crumbs left over from breakfast or gets distracted by whatever seems interesting in the next room, she leaves my side and fails to get to the desired destination. So we start again until she walks closely and patiently with me. Slowly but surely we make it.
I tend to think my walk with God is often so. Learning to keep my eyes and attention close to Him so I can see where to go. Much like Peter as he attempted to walk on water. The key to staying on top was to keep his eyes fixed on the Master.
It was all a good reminder to me that I need to keep my eyes on Jesus and where my eyes are my body will follow. It’s not always easy and it can be a process by which I must learn to follow closely, but it is the key to overcoming. When my eyes are fixed on him I can see faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
The forerunners of our faith didn’t just believe in something they couldn’t see but by faith, by keeping their eyes fixed on God they saw into the unseen realm. They saw their promises far off. When you can see something it becomes real and achievable. We don’t run after dreams we can’t see as a reality. The bible says, without a vision the people parish. It is when we keep our eyes fixed on the author of the book of our faith then we can know without a doubt that he will lead us faithful to the end. He knows the way to the destination by heart!