I haven’t had a very good track record of keeping dogs for very long. My first puppy lasted all of a week. My next dog lasted two years before coyotes got him. My dogs have been stolen, kicked by a horse, and hit by a vehicle. Currently there is one that has survived about ten years but I think that’s mostly because when we moved here we had to give him to friends because our yard isn’t fenced.
The best dog I had was a border collie/blue heeler cross named Luke, who had one blue eye and one brown eye. He was so easy to train that much of it almost seemed instinctive. From the first time I whistled for him if he could hear me he came running no matter what had his attention at that point. I never had to teach him not to get into the garbage; in fact I never even had to clean up after him at all. Even if we were in the bush he always went off the trail to do his business.
I had gotten him as two month old puppy and very quickly a bond developed between us, so much so that he literally became depressed when I was gone on holidays. I left him with my brother for two weeks and he was convinced Luke was seriously sick, but he was his normal self when I got home. Sadly this was the dog I’m pretty sure the coyotes got.
Sadder yet, though, is that most people probably identify more with the bond between me and Luke than with the bond God longs to have with us. I have said before that God longs to be longed for. The relationship I had with my dog is a pale illustration of a far deeper, profound, and satisfying relationship we can have with God.
The challenge is how to develop that relationship; how to “practice the presence of Christ.” Here’s a suggestion someone gave that helped me. Find something in your routine that you do, or hear, or see a number of times during the day. Simple things like a favorite color, the phone ringing, school bell, or starting a new task, maybe even your dog barking. It can be anything, but let it remind you of Jesus’ presence with you. Breathe a quick prayer at these times. Something simple; “Thank-you Lord,” “Be merciful to me a sinner,” “Fill me with your love.” You will be amazed at where that simple practice will lead you.