The routine is the same. Every. Single. Day.
I sit in my recliner with my sanity steaming in the cup beside me so I can turn on the news and prepare myself for what I’m about to see and hear. Then enters Harper, my canine friend who allows me to live in her house. She whines a bit, flops her head down on the footrest of my recliner and stares a hole through my soul. As soon as I look at her, she begins jumping around and whining a bit until I shush her. I need to hear what the weather is going to do today so I can feel sorry for my colleagues who will be braving rain, cold, and wind to go to their jobs while I remain warmly tucked inside my house.
Harper then sits beside my chair and holds up her paw. I can’t resist, so I reach out and hold her paw. We have our moment with her paw resting in my hand. Once she is convinced that she has my attention, she begins whining and jumping, pretending like she’s going to go to the office, that sacred room where her treats are stored. I sit and watch. I thought she was telling me she loves me, but it was just a ruse.
She returns to my chair and begins pawing at me as if she can pull me up and out of my very comfortable zone. Eventually, I get up and follow her to the office, open the door and retrieve a chew stick made of chicken, pork, and peanut butter. YUK!
If I give her the treat right away, she turns and runs away, consumed with throwing her chew stick in the air and running around the living room like a banshee before settling down to enjoy it. However, if I keep the treat with me as I leave the office, she transforms into this docile, submissive dog who circles around behind me as I exit the room. She heels perfectly, following me wherever I go, doing any trick I ask of her . . . until I give her the treat.
Every time this happens, I think about how we humans interact with God. When we are desperate for something, whether it’s a good report from the doctor, healing for a relationship, or another chance at life for a dying loved one, we follow Him, read our Bible, and pray incessantly. Once we receive the answer to our prayer, we resume normal activity, which may or may not include running around like a banshee.
I’ve been there, done that.
But the problem with this lifestyle is that God does not trade bequests for good behavior, so why live that way?
God is not my personal wizard behind the curtain. He wants to be the one who walks with me and talks with me. He wants to tell me I am His own and that’s more than enough. He is where I naturally belong because He is the one who created me.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —
not by works, so that no one can boast.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
Being a Christian is having a relationship with God: talking to him throughout the day, spending time listening to Him, working together with other believers to learn and to be taught. Christianity is a beautiful life of knowing your Creator, the one who knit you together in your mother’s womb, the one who can take your raveling threads and weave them back where they belong.