Yesterday, my husband, Steve, took our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Joe, to the vet for his annual check-up. If I had to describe Joe's personality in a few words, I'd say he's sweet, loves to play, but he's very cautious.
We got Joe from a breeder in Alabama when he was a yearling. At 15-months old he had never been out of his kennel or been on a leash. You can imagine how interesting it was to make the drive home to Georgia, when we had to stop at a rest area to let him out to do his business. Remember Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies? The make-shift leash we had for Joe looked very similar to Jethro's rope belt. Having never been on a leash, Joe was very curious about the whole experience - but not quite sure what to do.
Three years have passed since then and Joe has gotten very comfortable in his surroundings. He loves his very own bark park that is separated from his Golden Retriever sister, Precious' area, by an invisible fence. He loves to chase his ball and go for walks these days and doesn't give much thought to the occasional car parked on the side of the road that used to unnerve him.
At the vet the other day, the only challenge for Steve was in convincing Joe that it was safe to go into the building. After some coaxing, ok, after pulling him inside, Joe followed obediently and proved himself to be the model 'patient.' He even calmly allowed the poking and prodding that go along with a vet visit. He kept his eyes on Steve and stayed as close to him as possible.
The entire experience reminds me of our walk with the Lord. Do we trust our Heavenly Father as he leads us into those situations that we're not familiar with, or do we chicken out and stick with what's familiar? Proverbs 3:5-6 is such a great reminder:
5Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV)
As I come up against the difficult things of life today, I'll have a choice to make: Will I refuse to embrace what God has for me by staying in my comfortable surroundings, or will I, in faith, follow God's leading, keep my eyes on Him and stay as close to Him as possible? I choose to trust Him today.