Pause for a Moment 🐾
Permit me to poke fun at an internal conflict I’m having. Yes, I know it’s laughable, but it also relates to real issues everyone has when considering faith in God and following forward with God in life…
I’m about to become a dog grandparent to a ridiculously cute puppy that will reside a mere 2 hours away. Periodic visits and occasional overnighters are certainly in our/my future. I’m not sure I’m ready for this. You may be thinking, “Come on Steve, get a grip!” But before judging me, you should know I have a past, a history with pets that’s far from stellar, which gives me pause for the future, not paws!
My sister was the warm-hearted, lover of pets in our family. I was distant, except for teasing the cat and causing a “turtle incident.” It vanished on my watch while it bathed in the kitchen sink, leaving only wet tracks on the counter. Many years later, we discovered its grim, dried skeleton behind the broken dis
Marriage and family didn’t improve my pet track record. Even though I enjoy other people’s dogs, I have carelessly insulted the dogs of two family friends in the past. With Dog 1, I spoke about its unique face with, “You must be really loving people.” Message 1, “Your dog’s ugly.” With Dog 2, I called it, “Rotundy.” Not the dog’s actual name. Message 2, “Your dog is very overweight.” I know, but I told you I had a past and history littered with failures. What if this reoccurs?
Both times, my words revealed a critical spirit that had lost touch with God’s grace in Christ. It wasn’t the dogs at all; it was within me! Years ago, a mentor said, “When life turns up the heat, it bubbles to the surface junk already there. Jesus can help you own & deal with it, rather than just deflect blame elsewhere.” Wise advice!
So, regarding critical spirits… Left unchecked they diminish joy (like a fleeing refugee) and elevate the critic in their own mind (like an occupying oppressor). Not good at all (Ukraine, Russia parallels intended)! Thankfully, my God-given friends showed me more grace than deserved, which helped me see myself more honestly reconnect with Jesus more honestly and his transforming forgiveness, too!
So, regarding faith and following God forward today, we can still look to Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, Joseph, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, and Jesus’ early disciples! Stumbling forward
Regardless of our pasts and histories, let’s keep centering on Jesus, following him forward in faith and getting his needed help as we go!