Jeff Wall, writing in Reader’s Digest a few years ago, told that as a police officer he occasionally parked his cruiser in residential areas to watch for speeders. One Sunday morning he was staked out in a driveway, when he saw a large dog trot up to his car.
The dog stopped and sat just out of arm’s reach. No matter how much Wall tried to coax him to come for a pat on the head, he refused to budge. After a few minutes, the officer decided to move to another location. As he pulled out of the driveway, Wall looked back and learned the reason for the dog’s behavior. As soon as the police car moved, the dog quickly picked up the newspaper the car had been parked on and faithfully ran back to his master.
That’s funny, but it also says to me that if a dog could be that focused and that committed to his assigned task, then shouldn’t we also? To the dog, the task looked impossible: the paper was under the car and he couldn’t get to it. But he didn’t do what we so often do: when we are faced with “impossible” challenges many times we just turn and walk away, saying “Oh well, maybe we weren’t meant to do that.”
Perhaps today we could learn something from that dog. (1) He was faithful to do what his master expected of him; (2) he was focused on the assignment and let nothing, not even a pat on the head, distract him; and (3) he knew instinctively that the car didn’t belong there, and would eventually move, so he patiently waited until that happened.
Here are the lessons for us today: (1) Our Master expects us to be His Body, fulfilling His commands and sharing His Gospel; (2) we should be focused on our assignment and not be distracted by other things that come along, however good they may be; and (3) we should know instinctively that this world is not our home, and be patient as we wait for that Great Day when Jesus will return.
When Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching,” that’s about as clear as it could be said. No wiggle room. No reading between the lines. No loopholes.
So…is there a car parked on your newspaper?