_Inspired by a true story._
John sat in a park one day and watched a man training his dog.
The man would throw a stick and the dog would go fetch it and bring it back. As John watched he saw that the dog did not immediately run after the stick but instead waited for the master to say “go” at which he would almost fly after it
“Oh Lord” said John “I wish I had obedience like that”
Then the guy threw the stick and turned to the dog, who was eager to go, and said.. “stay!”.
The dog was straining every sinew and muscle in his body to go get that stick but he stayed by his master waiting for what seemed an eternity.
“Oh Lord” said John “to have THAT sort of obedience”
The dog waited and and waited eagerly awaiting the “g” of “go” but until it came he would not move. Then the master finally said “come on boy, lets go home” and walked away from the stick.
The dog, without a second glance at the stick, turned and trotted alongside his master, eyes fixed on him, it was as if the dog had completely forgotten the stick even existed.
“Learning anything?” came a voice in John’s heart.
The trick in obedience is not just running for the stick but to listen for the command. If the command is “go” we go with all our might but if it is “stay” we must stay with all our might, regardless of the fact that we may “know” what needs to be done.
But when it comes time to leave the stick where the Master has thrown it we must turn, our eyes fixed upon Him, forget the stick and follow our Master.
This is what I term as “letting it go” or “laying it down”
It is the premise of surrendering our will to His, if we truly lay something down it is no longer upon our heart. He may restore it but He may not.
Like Abraham we must walk the road with our eyes lifted to the mountain not gazing upon our potential loss and we must not assume that in laying it down we will have it restored – however we must not assume that we will not have it restored either. To do either would be to fix our eyes upon the stick and not the Master.
Abraham is still known as the “friend of God”. A lyric of one of the songs we sing goes “I’d lay it all down again to hear You say that I’m a friend”. Would we lay it ALL down again? Would any of us lay down our own personal stick.
It may just be that God has something better planned for us that does not include that stick. It may that God has something better planned for us that does include it.
In either case the key is His plan, not the stick. His way is perfect, the goal of the prize of the upward call must be strived for but strived for in Christ Jesus. It is not just the call which is in Christ but the “pressing on” must also be in Him.
Our hope is eternal for Jesus has laid Himself down that we may be restored to life. Just as Abraham received Isaac back “from the dead” because of the Lords provision of the sacrifice, so Our Father in heaven will receive us back from the dead through the sacrifice of Jesus.
In remembering all this we should not forget the words of Jesus
“If you love me then you will obey my commands”
If we wish to be obedient to the Masters commands then just like the dog we must keep our attention on the Master and on Him alone. Oh and if you’re worried about how we can care for those around us with our eyes only on Jesus then take comfort from the fact that Jesus himself has his eyes fixed only on the Father and he managed to care for others pretty well.