Several years ago our family went to the beach on vacation and left our spaniels, Rip and Dixie, in the care of a teenager who lived next door. We were more than five hours away when the young man called to tell us some bad news.
Our dogs were inside the house.
They were locked inside the house.
The neighbors did not have a spare key and neither did anyone else.
Clearly, a Plan B was called for…but Plan B seemed sketchy:
I called the local locksmith and asked him to go to our house and unlock the back door. I explained the part about the dogs being inside and the part about us being so far away on vacation. The locksmith said he couldn’t go unlocking doors for just anyone who called.
We needed proof so Jim involved his office staff and they supported our claim.
Yes, these people are who they say they are.
Yes, these kinds of things really do happen to this family – all the time.
Locksmith to the rescue.
“I can see your dogs. They are sitting on the couch.”
He unlocked the house and Dixie bounded out the door, but Rip would not budge.
“Your dog won’t move and I’m afraid to go any closer. He’s pretty large. He doesn’t know me and he might try to protect his territory.”
Jim and I thought this was funny since in dog years Rip was about 100 years old. But the man was nervous and we owed him big time.
“I have an idea,” I said. “If you hold the phone out into the room, I will call the dog.”
“Mrs. Griffith, I don’t think this will work. I’ve tried to call him.” The locksmith sounded skeptical.
“Let’s just give it a try.”
While Jim and the kids smirked and rolled their eyes, I used my singsong, syrupy, super-sweet voice.
“Hey there, Ripper-Dog. Come on, Rip, you old, sweet dog. You need to get outside and have a snack. Come on, Ripper-Dog. Come on outside.”
Rip perked his ears, slowly eased off the couch. He ambled past the locksmith, and out the door.
Do you need to get off the couch?
I want to live the life God has for me. I want to be the woman he created me to be. But I am afraid of what might happen if I leave my little nest, so I settle deeper into the cushions. The couch is comfortable. I think I’ll take another nap.
But Jesus is calling. He knows my name. He tells me he has work for me to do.
The Shepherd’s voice is kind and gentle, yet firm and strong. Jesus tells me he will guide and protect. He tells me to move not because I can do this on my own, but because I trust in him. He calls me to follow him.
Jesus wants me off the furniture and into the world. He wants me to invest in people who don’t know him. He wants me to love folks who don’t look like me. He wants me to get my hands dirty and care about the lost and the poor and those who have no hope.
He says it’s okay to be uneasy – that is when I listen best.
I tell him I am comfortable on the couch.
He says comfort isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There is more to life than not being disturbed. The Shepherd says if I want to find my life, I will have to lose it first.
So I move – slowly at first. My confidence grows as I respond.
I’m learning to trust the Shepherd’s voice, even when I cannot see his face.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
Where is God leading you? Are you a little uncomfortable? Maybe this coming year it’s time to work through that and step into the life he created you for!
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