Friday, November 18, 2011

The Pleasure of his Master

The four dogs lay down all alone at the end of the Obedience ring. Their owners were no where in sight. In fact, in the dogs' eyes, the owners had told the dogs to lie down, and then deserted them in this scary, unfamiliar place. Each dog lay down with ears perked forward, looking anxiously at the door the owner had walked out of. Eventually, during the long stay, the poodle lay down its head and went to sleep. Two other dogs remained alert, but calm. The Doberman however, was having a crisis within his loyal brain.

I stood just outside the ring with two friends, watching the drama unfold. Their good friend was the owner of the Doberman. The Doberman shifted his weight, as though to rise. All of us gasped. If he got up, the owner was disqualified. The poor dog settled again and I could see him thinking over his options. Then his rear haunches wriggled and rose off the ground. Again we gasped, as the dog paused, thinking through his action.
"If I get up, I will disappoint the Master...the one who has deserted me in my moment of need. Yet...I remember she doesn't like me to disobey her. And if I obey, I get a large piece of liver. I love liver. But I am scared, and I am lonely, and she has left me. She doesn't care anymore!"
He wriggled again, but then lowered his haunches back down. The minutes ticked interminably by. The Golden Retriever happily had enough of this nonsense and stood up. He headed to the ring exit, where the judge kindly leashed him to await the owner's return. The Doberman looked distraught.
"That Golden followed his heart...he disobeyed the Master. Why can't I? I can, I can...I don't need to obey. This long stay is a ridiculous rule anyway...."
Still, the Doberman wiggled, but didn't rise. The battle went on visibly within him.
"Can we help him in some way...indicate to him he should stay and she will be back?" I asked, almost as distraught as the Doberman.
"We could," said my friend, "But that would be cheating."
So we waited with the Doberman.
Finally, the blessed owner returned. The Doberman heaved a sigh of relief. His Master smiled at him. He had overcome temptation, and the reward was the pleasure of his Master. Nothing else mattered.

Deuteronomy 8: 5-7

5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
 6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills

Psalm 128:1
1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
   who walk in obedience to him.

No comments:

Post a Comment