Other than music, love of animals was a passion of mine while growing up. My parents were so gracious to us by giving us the gift of being surrounded by them. I always remember a cat being around. Dogs came in and out of our lives. There was a time when my brother went through a hamster stage. My sister had hermit crabs. I had cages and cages of rabbits and at one time two aquariums of tropical fish were set up in my room, all at the same time. My passion for horses and riding was such that on my 13th birthday, I will never forget turning the corner in the stables and seeing my name written as owner outside my favorite horse's stall. Yes, I even had a horse.
When I moved into my first apartment after college, I got a kitten. For our first wedding anniversary gift, Chris got me a beautiful yellow lab. I worked at an animal hospital for three years. I love animals. But there are no animals right now sharing our household. There are, however, three little people in this household that are begging for a dog. I sit the fence. My husband is coming around.
In the meantime, I give into my joy of learning about animals. I secretly am addicted to the television show, "The Dog Whisperer." Cesar Millan amazes me in his knowledge and in his abilities to help a dog get in that "balanced" state, as he calls it. This "calm submissive" state of being. He talks about being the pack leader; how dogs are healthiest knowing who that leader is and are more secure knowing the leader can be trusted. They were born to follow.
One of the first steps he does to instil this state of being is have the dog wait before entering his house. "You are pack leader. You own this house. The dog must wait for you to enter first. Then he must be invited in. It is your space." Then, he makes the dog wait at the doorway until his owner invites him in. This gives the dog boundary. This gives the dog his place. This begins building the trust.
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. Proverbs 8:34
I couldn't help but see this parallel this morning as I read from God's word. Christ is owner of my life. My house is His. Psalm 31:15 says, "My times are in your hands." My seasons. My days. My hours. My minutes. The moments are His. I have an enormous pack leader. I, too, was created to be a follower. All too often, I fight to be the Alpha dog. I wrestle with my role to dominate my territory. I wrestle with my pack to maintain leadership. I am most definately not balanced. Calm submissive? Rarely. Perhaps calm submissive is the state of trusting. Could this be that peace that passes all understanding? Perhaps Cesar's techniques are applicable to more than dogs.
What would my day look like if I viewed everything in light of Christ's ownership. If I entered into my home... into the sickness... into the battles as first realizing all these belonged to Christ. They are His. I look to Him for the invitation to come in. I look to Him as to how I should respond. I accepted my food at the time He gives it. I stay in my crate because He asked me to. I take my walks with Him when He takes me. I rest at His feet while He is home. I am calm. I am at peace. Because I trust Him. Because I know He loves me and He knows best. Because I know it's best to follow Him and I am perfectly content in my role. Hmm.... I ponder this.
I so often am the dog who runs in claiming the sofa, the food dish, the bed.. all as mine. I growl and snarl at those with whom I live. Mine, I say. Mine, I claim. I'm the dog that needs to be flipped over and "shht" hundreds and hundreds of times until I get it. Until I finally rest... calm and submissive. Allowing myself to surrender and trust. Allowing myself to be led; looking to Him for permission. Allowing Him to enter, first. Some days it's by force, others it's by choice. Either way, I'm waiting at the doorway.