Yesterday afternoon Eli asked me to run down to the kennel where he works so that he could introduce me to a dog. Cooper is a beautiful brown and white, four year-old Border Collie with incredible manners, and E.'s in love with him. After meeting him, I see why.
Upon entering the run, Cooper affectionately greeted Eli and was ready to play. E. had told me at home about this dog's amazing obedience and was eager to demonstrate. He began to give the dog some simple commands, such as sit, stay, lay, etc. The rapidity and complete humility with which Cooper executed the directives really was astounding - and there was no treat waiting for him anywhere in sight! Eli played catch with Cooper using a tennis ball. The dog would immediately retrieve the ball, run to him, drop it gently in the palm of Eli's hand, run back and turn around to wait for the next throw. If E. would drop the ball by accident (or on purpose), Cooper would pick it up and tenderly lay it in his hand once again. He also knew the difference between his ball and his frisbee - E. would command him to pick up one or the other, and he would do it perfectly every time.
Upon watching this demonstration for awhile, I was struck with the way Cooper never took his eyes off Eli. He was constantly looking into E.'s eyes and "reading" his body language. It was incredible to watch the beautiful intensity and desire that the dog had to obey and please the one directing him.
And as I thought again this morning about Cooper, I realized that he is a powerful picture of obedience. For that dog, in his simple desire to trust and obey, is an insightful reminder to me to trust and obey my Master as well. To quickly listen to His commands and live out His desires. To hunger to delight Him with my trust and obedience. To never take my eyes off the One who rules my heart.
Thank You, Abba, for yet again using Your marvelous creation to teach me.