Lassie, Come Home

thanksgiving-012That adorable little ball of fur on the left is my Sheltie, Lassie.  She will turn three this spring, just a few days before my own birthday, and she is a happy little creature without a care in the world.  Thanks to mom feeding her while I am at work, she is a fat little thing, too! 

Lassie’s main vice (besides yapping) lies in her timid nature.  She is deathly afraid of strangers and strange places.  She has an emotional breakdown every time I take her for a ride in my car.  She hides under furniture and shakes like we’re having an earthquake whenever she is confronted with something new. 

Sound familiar?

I hate to subscribe to the idea that in time, the owner begins to assimilate to her dog, but I see too much of myself in Lassie’s nature.  Physically, we have the same profile (check out my nose) and when it comes to our personalities, I see many of the same tendencies that Lassie displays when life throws her a curve ball.  She never goes and fetches.  She runs the other direction.

My world and Lassie’s are obviously very different.  She doesn’t have to go to work or do chores — she just has to be.  Well, she does have to be good, in addition to just being, and as a whole she does a fair job at that.  The test comes when  I give her a command:

“Lassie, come here.”  I see her round eyes recognize my voice — but then she surveys the situation.  Is there anyone around?  Anything new, strange, or fearful?  If so, she doesn’t come, but lingers timidly in the corner.  “Lassie, come!”  She takes a few steps forward, but quickly darts back when she hears footsteps nearby.  Her ears flick back and forth and I can tell I am not the only voice she is listening to.  Third time:  “Lassie, I said come here!”  She then has two reactions:  a mad dash into my arms, or a fearful huddle in the corner.  If the latter, I come thundering into the corner to collar her into obedience. 

What Lassie always misunderstands is that I call her to give her blessings.  I give her commands so I can enjoy her company, pet her, feed her, and brush her.  It is she who makes it an ordeal by her fearful disobedience.  When she continues to ignore my commands, the difficulty is prolonged as I have to punish her before I can give her what I wanted to give in the first place. 

I don’t know about you, but I see this as a fair example of my relationship with God.  He calls — and I survey the situation.  “Is it safe?  Will I be embarrassed?  Will I get hurt?” If I don’t like it, maybe I don’t go.  He calls again:  “Phylicia, follow me!” I start to follow, but I get dissuaded by fear and pride.  So God comes thundering into my corner, to pull me out of my huddle and show me what I could have attained with much less hassle.  I end up with my ears pinned back and my tail between my legs.  It didn’t have to be that way.

So tomorrow morning when I feed Lassie, that’s what will be on my mind.  Maybe I can’t help looking like my dog, but I can certainly put a stop to acting like her.  I just have to get out of my corner… before the Master has to drag me out of it!

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5 Responses

  1. Phylicia,
    This is beautiful. Lassie is a cutie. As a dog owner, myself, I can relate to learning from them. Howie has taught me much that can be translated into life and relationships with Father and with others.

    Ah…very true for myself, at times, too. How I desire not to cower when Papa calls me, and not to think He’s upset or disappointed in me, but rather simply wants to Love on me or show me a better way during those times.

    Blessings,
    ~Amy 🙂

  2. Hey Phylicia,
    Very nice parallel. God does teach us lessons from very interesting places–it’s true, I think we all tend to stand in the corner when we’re insecure with the “risks” that we have to take to go to Jesus, but if we would just trust, we’d find that He just wants to love on us–this even applies when you really are going through a trial. It may be difficult along the way, but if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and trust Him, when we reach His arms, we’ll be so much better for it!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed reading through a few of your posts this morning. You also have a very cool writing style, and I’m sure I will be returning for more! 🙂

    By the way, the comment that I left on Kaysie’s blog…about the blogging challenge that I will be hosting–I would love it if you would participate as well! And tell your friends to do it too. The more the merrier, and also the more inspiration we will all get from each other!

    In His arms,
    –Abigail

  3. What an amazing post! I love how God uses things like animals to reveal to us things about ourselves. And I can so relate to this.

    Thanks for posting!

  4. Hi Pylicia!
    I really enjoyed reading this post. I love the parellel you draw between your dog’s relationship with you and our relationships with God. I struggle with this same problem, so I found this post very encouraging!
    I’d love to tell your sister more about dental hygiene! What would be the best way to do that? You have my e-mail, so feel free to write me whenever!
    I’ve really enoyed exploring your blog! Now that i know you’re hear I’ll definitely be checking back!
    -Callie

  5. Very good illustration! I too have a sheltie (Blaze) who can be timid too.

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