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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Leia and Stick

dog laying on the floor next to her master
Author Biography

    Beth's been writing and producing web content for CBN for 14 years. Her empty nest now homes a German shepherd named Princess Leia and a hound dog named Rufus.

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Beth Patch - Senior Internet Editor & Producer

Her brown eyes stared at her favorite companion lying lifeless on the ground. Yes, “Stick” had not moved for at least 15 seconds (and yes, it is a fetching stick named “Stick”). Leia panted. If I could read her mind, I believe she was thinking, “Surely Mom will pick this up and throw it soon.”

Seconds passed and my German Shepherd’s posture remained the same. So did mine. Then she sat, took her eyes off Stick, and looked up at my face. “That’s what I was waiting for,” I said as I reached down to the ground, picked up Stick and tossed him across the yard.

Leia wanted Stick to fly across the yard so she could catch him in the air. For as long as she was focused on Stick, it didn’t happen. But when she turned her focus to me, her master, her problem was resolved. My place of authority and her place of submission were established, and we could continue. In training my dogs, the relationship of who is in charge is important and must be in regular practice for the relationship to be mutually beneficial.

Day after day, our German Shepherd and I repeat this learning process. Most days, when we are just getting started with her morning fetch workout, Leia chases Stick, retrieves him, drops him at my feet, sits, and immediately shifts her gaze to my eyes. I say, “Good girl,” and toss Stick across the yard. But after several successful retrievals, Stick has wedged his way into first place. The fun of chasing and retrieving has surpassed her desire to remain loyal to the humble relationship with her master.  So, instead of looking at me, she’s staring at Stick.

I’ve often wondered why she breaks the pattern of looking at me to throw Stick after we’ve been in the yard a bit. I’ve also wondered why I fail to keep my eyes on my Master when I can start out so strongly connected to Him and then go about my days juggling responsibilities, making decisions, spending time with friends and family, and start behaving like the stuff in my life needs my attention more than my Savior.

God spoke to my heart: Keep your eyes on Me. When you do, your perspective on life will be more like Mine and you will have My peace. When the busyness of your life takes priority, you miss out on so much. Focus on Me. Trust Me. My ways are not your ways.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2 ESV).

It’s a simple action—to focus on the Master. He’s so patient as He holds what we need in His hands and waits for us to trust Him.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6, emphasis mine).

Father God, please forgive us for those times when the concerns of our lives become our focal point. Help us to remember to drop our wants and needs at Your feet and then look to You, our mighty Lord, to provide what’s best for us.  

~

The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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