Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jesus and Dog Poop

April and I have been dog owners since Christmas and for the most part Maeby has been a wonderful addition. She has so much energy and spunk that she’s a constant source of life in our little apartment. We’ve loved snuggling on the couch, her daily excitement to see us come home, and the way she tilts her head to the side and gives you a goofy look. Amidst all of the fun and joys of having a little puppy there are many frustrations. The continual chewing and biting with her little fangs can bring some sharp little pains to your fingers. We’ve also discovered that she’s an avid barker. For such a small dog there seems to be a lot of noise coming out of her, especially at 6:30 in the morning. Lastly we’ve had growing frustrations with the fact that she treats every square inch of our apartment as her personal toilet. I don’t care what anybody says, potty training a puppy is difficult stuff. Some evenings you feel that you go from cleaning up one stain to the next. Recently as I was cleaning up two puddles of urination I vented in my frustration, “I’m tired of cleaning up after you!” Immediately my words resonated within me and had a moment of divine perspective. I pictured myself and my constant struggle to live righteously and how we as sinful people continually choose to disregard and disobey God and his instructions. To be blunt, when we choose to indulge in sin we are choosing to bring crap into our lives. Sin has no place in our lives and is only going to destroy our lives, but God has given us a chance for freedom. Through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ we have the opportunity to break the cycles of sin and be free from its powerful grip. As I was cleaning up after Maeby’s accident in the kitchen I realized that when I ask God for forgiveness he’s lovingly removing the crap and stains from my life. The great thing about God is that unlike me, he won’t get frustrated with you. If we’re struggling with sin, He’s not going to lose his temper with us and get frustrated because we’ve rejected him. He lovingly stands there with his arms open ready to receive us back and offer us a fresh start. Obviously we would be cheapening the undeserved love and forgiveness of God if we chose to cyclically live in sin, ask for forgiveness, return to the sin, ask for forgiveness and return back to the sin again and again. When we accept the gracious love of God we shouldn’t look at it as a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” that we can pull out anytime we feel guilty. God wants us to abandon, runaway from, and reject sin, and passionately follow him with our whole being. Then I believe we are able to begin understanding the selfless love of God and appropriately respond to the fresh start that he offers us.

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