Lassie, Come Home

I have a little Sheltie who is about one and a half years old. For those of you who aren’t aquainted with the breed, a Sheltie is like a miniature collie. Most Shelties are about 16-18 inches tall at the shoulder, but mine is the smallest they come — only thirteen inches tall. Just a little over a foot! I creatively named her Lassie when I first bought her, and have since received a lot of ridicule over my unimaginative naming choice.
Lassie is a nervous dog. She trembles whenever she rides in the car, skitters around strangers like they’re out to kill her, and winds me up like a mummy whenever we go for walks on the leash. However, as silly and fearful as she can be, I love her because she has the sincerest heart a dog could have! Have you ever met a dog that looked like it was using you? Lassie isn’t like that. When she loves you, she loves you with everything in her little doggy soul. I don’t think she even has the capacity to hate!
You’re probably thinking, “What does Phylicia’s dog have to do with anything of significance?” Well, to me, Lassie’s relationship with me reflects my relationship with God. Just as I am Lassie’s master, God is mine. Just as I expect Lassie to obey my commands, so God expects the same of me. And I am the one that provides comfort, food and a home for Lassie — just like Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider, does for all of us.
I first thought of this once when I was doing Bible early in the morning. Lassie was sitting beside me, but it was quite apparent she wanted to leave the room. I was in the middle of reading and was not going to cater to her at that moment. “Lassie, come here!” I called. Lassie sulkily approached and sat down, but was up again within a minute, pacing the room, gazing at the door, and gazing at me. “Lassie, come here and sit!” I turned back to my work. But Lassie would not listen. She had her own roads to travel. What she didn’t know was that after I was done, I was going to give her breakfast. Lassie’s impatience was making everything take longer. That was when I realized how God must feel. (Not that I am like God — Lassie’s antics had me already annoyed) As I looked at Lassie, who was whining and shuffling about, it hit me that I must look exactly the same way to God when He is working. It was comical, really. I can picture myself all too easily:
God: “Phylicia, I have a great plan for you. Come here and sit while I work on it.”
Phylicia: “What?! Sit?! But God –“
God: “Just wait a minute — I’m working.”
Phylicia: “I’m getting up. I don’t want to sit around. I want to DO things.”
God: “You WILL do things, if you wait for me to get it ready. Come here and sit.”
Phylicia: “Awwww God, I don’t want to — there’s the door — I want to GO…”
God: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Phylicia: “I know you’re God. Can’t we save the “be still” part for later?”
God: “No.”
Phylicia: “Why? Why? I want to do great things!”
God: “You will do great things when I am done working. Your impatience is making my work harder and making YOUR wait longer. So come here and sit.”
I am just like my dog. I’m not sure I should advertise that, but it is true. Lassie’s lack of trust kept her from the blessings I had in mind for her — and the same goes for me.
Lassie doesn’t always trust me in other areas, too. I have already said that she is a fearful dog — and she is. She trembles with fear and trepidation whenever we go somewhere or do something or meet someone new. She has a multi-phobic personality. I try to reassure her, and stroke her, hold her, talk to her — but she doesn’t trust me. She doesn’t believe that what I am saying is true (of course, she’s a dog, so I’m working with an allegory here). Once again, I see similarities. Is it the same way when I am afraid, and my Master is trying to reassure me?
The root of Lassie’s distrust lies in the fact that she cannot see what I see. She doesn’t see the big picture — the long run. I do. In this sense, I am like Lassie. God sees where I’m headed, and knows His plan for me, but I cannot see it, and thus my distrust sets in. When Lassie listens to my voice, and ceases trembling, or when she obeys me, and stops trying to push her own way, I am able to bless her. I want to bless her, because I love her. She is mine. We are His. He loves us. What reason can we then have not to trust the Master?
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4 Responses

  1. I too have a little dog I love very much, and I too have compared our relationship to that of God… but in a different way. My dog is very faithful and her faithfulness to me surprises me. I have not lived at home for years, and sometimes I stay more than a year away from home, but each time I come back it’s as if I had never left. If I’m home, she forgets everyone else and follows me, or waits for me when I am gone. Her love/forgiveness is also amazing in that, she might make me a bit angry and I can make it clear to her that I’m not happy, she will hide for a little while under my bed, but after five minutes or so, just by saying her name she’s out again jumping and so happy to be with me. I wish I was as faithful to the Lord. I wish I could keep my eyes on Him as she keeps them on me when we are together. I wish I could follow the Lord as she follows me. I wish I could be as happy to be in the presence of the Lord as she is in my presence. It’s funny but you can learn a lot just by observing animals, and they can bring me to shame sometimes.

  2. Phy, I really liked this post because your dad and I have chuckled about how similar in temperament you and Lassie are! Oh, the times we had to push you to overcome your fear – horse shows, fast trail rides, speaking in public – but on the good days you trusted us and were blessed, knowing that because we love you we would only encourage you (push you) when it was for your good. And like our Heavenly Father who knows the future, we earthly parents can see glimpses and follow His leading in the care and direction of the children He gave us. And then the proper order of things is upheld for His glory.
    You are blessed, Phylicia, because of your willingness to honor and obey your parents. It is a pleasure to have a friend/daughter who pleases us because she wants to, not because she has to. I love you, Mom.

  3. This was such a sweet post, and very true to myself as well. (your dog is the cutest!!!) 🙂

    I wanted to let you know that you have been awarded the “Blogging with a Purpose” award… you can check out my blog for details. 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Kaysie

  4. I love your analogy! Very true!

    Maria Pauline

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