To Obey or Not Obey

She can be really annoying at times. It feels like I continually have to say the same things over and over again, “stop, get down, leave me alone, don’t bite.” I guess she is only a puppy and I should be more understanding. Macie (my puppy) just doesn’t seem to get it sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if she will ever grow up and understand the difference between what I want her to do and what she would rather do.

Every night when me and Charissa head to bed we put Macie into her little kennel. It certainly would be a terrible idea to let Macie have free roam of the house at night. We would most likely wake up to find things chewed, torn and destroyed. We also don’t want to leave her outside in the cold and rainy Oregon weather. Therefore, we put her into her bed for the night. The problem, Macie hates it! It’s not like she is doing much late at night anyways. In fact, most nights as Charissa and I watch TV she sleeps quietly in the room with us, you wouldn’t think it would be a big deal for her to sleep in her bed. When we get up and call her and point to her kennel she rarely comes. Most of the time she plays that game where she stays on one side of the kitchen table and I try to catch her. If I go one way she moves the other. When I try to turn around and go back the other way, she turns around as well. The worst is when she makes it into our bed room and hides under the bed. I’m not really sure how she does it, she’s getting kind of big to fit under there. It is nearly impossible to get her out. I have to reach under the bed and grab her by the feet and drag her out. There are glimpses of hope when she willingly goes to her bed for the night but those are few and far between.

To continue my complaining tirade, she also is in the bad habit of jumping on you. I don’t know how many times I have pushed her off me saying, “Down Macy!” She still jumps right back up. She is getting better about not biting but still has her moments. It drives me crazy sometimes. I just wish she would learn how to be a good dog and not such an annoying one.

The funny thing is (bear with me for a moment) I think I’m a lot like Macie. I wonder if God ever views me like I view Macie. Certainly he doesn’t look at me as annoying and He certainly loves me more than I could ever love a dog. I wonder how many times he has said to me, “stop” and for a moment I quit but eventually I return. I wonder how often I run hiding under the bed thinking that if I can’t see him he must not be able to see me. I see glimpses of hope in my life but I am reminded continually of how rebellious I can be. Does God ever say, “I wish he would just grow up and understand the difference between what he wants to do and what I want him to do.”

Maybe someday I will figure this life out. By the grace of God, I am eternally secure not because of my ability to obey, but Christ’s ability to save. Still, I struggle to do what is right in the eyes of God. Maybe one day, I will learn what it really means to obey. Who knows, maybe even Macie will figure out someday.

The Hospital

I’m curious by nature. Some find it annoying, my wife does at times. When we are out to dinner she always tells me to quit staring at people. I don’t mean to, I just can’t help but wonder about their lives. Every face has a story to tell, every person a life they have lived.

I’m sitting in the hospital right now in Portland, visiting my sister. Don’t worry, she’s okay, she’s just here for observation and a few tests. She calls it a “vacation in Portland.” I don’t know if I would go that far but I guess it is an escape from the busyness of life. She can’t do much but lay in bed, hooked up to a machine that analyzes her brain.

I ventured out of her room not too long ago in search of food. There is a cafeteria on the first floor and I was hungry. I rode the elevator down, loaded up my tray with french fries and a cheese burger (you think they would make you eat healthier in a hospital. You would also think that being a hospital would make me want to eat healthier – both aren’t true).

Anyways, I got in the elevator holding my tray of food along with a young lady. I can’t help but wonder what her story is. She is clearly a patient in the hospital. She is pushing an IV cart, full of mulitple drugs that are being pushed into her system. I wonder what she’s here for? She punched the button for floor six, same place I was going. We rode up the elevator and got off. I followed her down the hallway. Eventually I got to my sister’s room and walked in but this young lady kept walking. I looked up to see a sign pointing in her direction, it said, “Cancer Ward.”

We had gotten off on the same floor but the life she lives is vastly different than mine. Real people with real stories. Every once in a while an announcement goes over the intercom saying, “rapid response team to level 4.” I can’t help but wonder what that means. I wonder if there are other families in this hospital broken over the pain in thier lives. Real people, real stories. I’m thankful I haven’t spent a lot of time here. But, I can’t help but wonder about the lives of everyone else here. Maybe I’m just too curious…