This morning, the air was thick with humidity when I went outside to feed our puppies. Joe was just emerging from his dog house with an expectant look on his face, as if to suggest that it was an excellent morning to get down to the important business of playing. Oddly enough, Precious was already shuffling about around her doghouse, totally oblivious to the duck and potato dog food I was bringing her. Not at all characteristic of our Golden Retriever. She certainly had piqued my curiosity.
After filling Joe's food bowl and giving him fresh water, I headed over to Precious' portion of the yard that we've come to refer to as her 'bark park.' Even with the tantalizing smell of her food drifting nearer, she gingerly picked something up in her mouth and ran away from me. It wasn't until I had poured her food into her bowl and called her several times that she gave in to her hunger. Once on the porch of her doghouse, she finally set her prize down and showed her usually interest in eating.
I had to laugh. Precious had befriended a small turtle as her toy. Not accustomed to being played with by a large, furry creature, the turtle had labelled her as 'Danger' with a capital 'D,' and had successfully retreated into his shell. I rescued the poor, frightened turtle and deposited him by our creek to recover.
Heading back over to Joe's bark park to give him some much-coveted play time, I noticed that it was with reluctance that he let me take his ball from him in order to begin the long-awaited game of fetch. He would hold his rubber football in his mouth for quite some time, before placing it on the ground at my feet. Even then, he put his head down and hovered over his toy, not fully comprehending that in order to play he needed to surrender his ball to me so I could throw it. We played an invigorating game of fetch until Joe decided he wanted to keep his ball and play with it by himself.
As I walked back toward the house, I couldn't help but think about the fact that my response to God is a lot like the response I had gotten from my dogs. Both dogs were a bit reluctant to give up what they felt was important in order to receive what I knew was best for them.
How often do I hold onto things I've deemed as important, instead of yielding to God's best for me? In Romans 6:13b, we're reminded to, "...yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." In a culture where 'rights' are of utmost importance, it's stunning to know that by yielding our 'rights' to God, we are filled with the power of His Holy Spirit, to live a life that is characterized by fulfillment, and is pleasing to Him.
In her book entitled, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Nancy Leigh DeMoss puts it best, "The fact is, successful relationships and healthy cultures are not built on the claiming of rights but on the yielding of rights. Even our traffic laws reflect this principle. You'll never see a sign that says, 'You have the right of way.' Instead, the signs instruct us to 'Yield' the right of way. That is how traffic flows best; it is also how life works best." (p. 74)
DeMoss leaves us with some food for thought, "The only way to get off that kind of spiritual and emotional roller coaster is to yield all my rights to the One who ultimately holds all rights. That is the Truth - and the Truth will set us free." (p. 76) So, where are you on the road of life? Are you struggling to maintain the 'right of way?' Or are you willing to 'yield' to your Savior and allow Him to make you free (John 8:32)? Think about it.