Something interesting happened last week on my early morning prayer walk around my neighborhood (I like to hit the lane, do my mile, and arrive back home before 8 am to try to beat the blazing Florida heat; even so, I’m usually so sweaty I slide right off my chair when I sit to eat breakfast upon my return).
I find it easier to walk in the road than on the sidewalk (lots of oak tree roots make the sidewalks precarious and I don’t want to have to pay that much attention to the bumps and ledges to keep from stumbling; plus there’s very little traffic moving at that time of day). So at one point I was avoiding a parked car by swerving out into the driving lane when I heard a rhythmic jingle-jangle sound rapidly approaching from my rear.
Glancing back, I realized – a bit too late – that the jingle-jangle was from the chain collar of an ENORMOUS dog that was trotting alongside a bicycle-riding man clutching his leash. The bike rider was also in the middle of the road, avoiding another parked car almost exactly even with the one on my side.
We were both bottle-necked into the same narrow passageway with nowhere to escape.
GRRRRR. That dog was not happy that he was going to have to share his space with the likes of me. GRRRRR. I could see his drooling pearly whites quite clearly as he barred them in a pointy message in the general direction of my throat.
I was seriously weighing the pros and cons of throwing myself atop the hood of the parked car in an undignified effort to scale my way up to the roof when a few words from the bike rider changed everything.
“Leave it. Just leave it,” said the man in a low, calm, confident voice.
The dog ceased immediately as if a guillotine had chopped off his growl.
In the next few minutes, as I tried to rustle up enough saliva to swallow, I replayed the scene in my mind and was totally impressed by the instant obedience of the dog to his master’s command.
That dog absolutely did – “leave it” – without hesitation, argument, or any self-motivated pushing back. He obviously had enough respect and trust of his master (and maybe a little fear too?) to automatically obey, regardless of his own feelings or innate desire to sink his razor-sharp teeth into the tempting cellulite of my jiggling thigh.
And by his apparent lack of stress at the unexpected trial, the man had total confidence in the dog’s upcoming response. He knew the dog would obey. Regardless of the circumstances. Because he had proved his loyalty time and time again.
Yep. That would be called discipline.
Man, oh man. I couldn’t help but compare the dog’s response to mine when I hear, clearly uttered through God’s Word, “Leave it. Just leave it.”
Judging. Lying. Coveting, Judging. Begrudging. Resenting. More judging.
All things I struggle with on a daily basis. All things to which I know I should “Just leave it,” yet I still push back. Even though I respect and trust my Master. Even though He has an impeccable track record and I know His rules are for my own best interest. I still growl and lunge and bite. I can’t seem to default to instant obedience and leave it. To be self-disciplined enough to turn my back and walk away from sin.
Just. Leave. It.
So I’m going to focus on being more dog-like this week. Or at least as obedient as a well-trained mans-best-friend. How about a poodle? Maybe then I can leave this dang muzzle at home.
How about you, my BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever)? How are you doing with “Just leaving it”?