That One Special Dog

Just thinking…..

Probably everyone has had that one special dog…. the one that always comes to mind when someone mentions “dog.” The one that makes you smile or laugh, or remember some heroic or stupid thing. Maybe just a dog that was loyal and friendly.

That dog for us is Chance, a golden lab and chow mix. We jokingly call him a Chab, or a Low. He has the gruff protectiveness of the Chow, laying on the porch with his back against the front door, just daring someone to try and enter the house without permssion. He has the low growl and bark designed to scare off intruders. But he has the gentle good nature of the Lab, always wanting to be near us during our outdoor tasks or walks.

Chance got his name from his circumstances. We picked him up at the animal shelter; we were literally his last chance. He was just a little mop of fur and growl 17 years ago when he came to live with us.

Now that he is a very old dog, it takes him a while to get to his feet. Arthritis in the hips hinders him from quickly bounding up. But once he is up, he still can run like the dickens. He seeks the sun to warm his old bones, and he noses piles of leaves together to make himself a comfy little nest. He hates water, and avoids every puddle in the road when we walk. He’ll take shelter under the porch when it rains or snows, and only delicately will venture out to greet us before retreating to his dry quarters. And don’t even mention a bath…….

Chance has had a mission during all his years: to catch a squirrel. Nothing else matters. He may be eating his favorite kibble, but he hears a squirrel rustling in the treees, he is off after the critter. He has run head on into trees while on a squirrel chase through the woods. When the squirrel scampers up a tree, making mocking chittery noises, Chance stands on the ground and whimpers his frustration. As far as we know, he has only caught a squirrel once. Once. But it doesn’t stop him from trying. As hard as it is to get up, he will do it to chase a squirrel. As much as he hates the rain, he’ll venture out to chase a squirrel. His vision is focused on squirrels; his mission in life to catch one.

I was thinking about that this fall as Chance and I wandered the woods gathering hickory nuts. We had stopped to sit on the old bench in the woods, and I was scratching his head. He loves it. He snuggles in to make sure we won’t stop. But then he saw a squirrel. As much as he loved the massage, catching a squirrel was a far greater, far nobler task.

I began to muse about my purpose in life. Do I have that over riding vision, that pervading sense of mission? Will I go out of my comfort zone to achieve it? Will I venture into adverse rainy places to accomplish my goal? That’s what Chance does.

Paul, the Apostle, was like that. As Saul, he had the vision of persecuting all the Christians, and he zealously chased them. After his conversion, the vision changed. He was still a man on a mission, but now it was to convert others to Christianity and to strengthen churches. He never seemed to lose sight of his purpose in life.

Oh Father, let me be like Chance. Let me continue a mission for You even in the rain, even in the pain, even in my old age, even out of my comfort zone. Let me be like Paul, with my vision fixed on You. May my passion and purpose in life be to witness for You. And if, like Chance, I only catch one or none, let that one be for Your glory.

To God be the glory………

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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