Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Dog's Passionate Pursuit

I was slightly immersed in one of my favorite books, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, as I looked on at the kids splashing in the pool today.  I wasn't sure at first what they were playing.  Kids on either side of the dividing line (pool sweep hose) while throwing objects at one another (gently, of course).  I soon figured out that they were playing a game of water dodge ball; which included my dog as a participant.  I watched on.  

I noticed (as usual) that my dog was quickly fixated on her toy.  The one she chases.  The one that squeaks.  The one she loves.  In fact, we refer to her as a rabid dog because she is so consumed with it.  She chases it so much that it causes her paws and nails to bleed as a result of her pursuit.

I often refer to her as being an addict for her toy.

As all the objects would fly throughout the air and land in the water, it wouldn't take long for Scruffy the dog to leap into the pool to get her heart's desire.  

Although her toy became one of the balls, she could clearly distinguish between the real one (hers) and the imposters.  As more balls were hurled through the air, in no way was she distracted by what came her way.  Her eyes were on the prize; her toy.

The various 'balls' that were used to play- Scruffy's toy included.

With a dogged-determination (pun intended), she didn't lose sight of what mattered so much to her.

She got her prize.

She is a dog.  No conscience.  No soul.  An animal.  Yet, she could clearly go after something with all of her 'dog-being'.  A passionate and relentless pursuit.  A persistence that would leave her choking up water, exhausted and sometimes bleeding.  But she wouldn't give up.  

The children stopped playing.  The game is over.  Disappointment sets in.  She waits for one of the kids to throw her toy so she can continue in her pursuit again.

Disappointed but still focused, she looks on.

As I watched all of this play out, I couldn't help but think about my own pursuits.  

Am I as intentional and as focused after my Prize?   I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14  Or will I be mislead by many of the world's imposters?

Can I distinguish in this world what is worth pursuing?

Or when the distractions that are being thrown my way leave me unfocused, lost, thrown off balance, or defeated, will I be tenacious enough to continue in my pursuit?    

When life becomes a disappointment, will I still look to my Prize, the One I love?

I, being a human being, filled with the power of the Living God, will I chase after my Prize with such determination?  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

Imposters, distractions, and disappointments all showed up in the pool today for my dog, but they showed up for me as well.   

Distractions that made it difficult for me to not only seek Christ, but to hear from Him and to be in His Holy presence today.

Disappointments with extended family that brought me to tears (again).

Imposters masked as joy and peace.  Would I succumb to  busyness, food (chocolate), or entertainment to numb what I was feeling inside?  

Would I seek the Imperishable Crown?  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  1 Corinthians 9:25

As my dog bleeds for her prize, would I be willing to bleed for my Prize?  Pushing everything aside to seek Him, find Him, know Him and be obedient to Him.
In the pursuit of Christ we need to: 
  • ·       stay focused on Him
  • ·       be undeterred by distractions and disappointments
  • ·       be discerning of imposters 
  • · and sometimes we need to bleed for Him; by overcoming our fears, injustices, insecurities, and self- so we can know Him more and make Him known to others

As we passionately and relentlessly pour out our life for Christ, remember that He bled for us because we are His prize!

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