Zoe. And Maddy. There are two of them, actually, who accompany me to my home office, listening to the tap, tap of my hands across the computer keyboard, wondering when I’ll be done, watching me with anticipation perchance I ask, “Wanna go outside?”
They are great dogs—sweet, gentle. Yet they know they’ve got me wrapped around their little paws. The influence they exert on our family is tremendous. Christians would be wise to observe and learn from them.
Okay, so dogs will lick their own vomit, sniff each other hello, and itch their hind ends with their teeth. You probably shouldn’t do those things. But there are other things you can do, if you’d only take a cue from my dogs.
Fido knows fidelity. Want to see the Jaws of Death in action? Try breaking into my house. You’ll be sorry when you’ve got little white daggers clamped around your neck. Dogs are loyal. To us. To each other.
Can you imagine what our world would look like if we were just as devoted to our Christian brothers and sisters? If we were just as devoted to our Christian values? Loyalty to our families, instead of our careers or our personal aspirations?
What are you devoted to? How do you express your loyalty?
Death to all squirrels! is my dogs’ mission. This includes all rodent life, for they are the fuzzy enemy. Zoe and Maddy, my dogs, must stand together. No, not stand. They must run together toward that tree, where the squirrel inevitably escapes. No matter. Someday, they will achieve their mission. Then that squirrel will be toast—squirrel toast.
What is your vision and mission? Is it to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself?” (Luke 10:27) Jesus also commanded that we share the gospel—the good news about how He came to suffer and die for our sins so that we might have life everlasting.
Like my dogs, who embark together on their goal, are you collaborating with others to share and achieve the mission? Go for it. Trample the naysayers, who say it can’t (or shouldn’t) be done. Plow through the obstacles Satan and the world puts in your path. Chase after the dream. Together, we can reach the world for Christ and make a difference.
It doesn’t matter whether I’ve been gone for 15 minutes or all day. When I walk through the door, the dogs are delighted with my return. They dance with joy, bowling me over, attacking me with tail thumps and face-lickings. Do I act this way when I pick my children up from school? When my husband walks through the front door after a long day at work? Do I make every person I encounter feel special and valued and loved?
Puppy love. Fierce. Unselfish.
As Christians, we are to be leaders—servant leaders. The kind of leaders who elevate others before ourselves. When we express this kind of love and adoration for others, we are exemplifying the love of Christ.
Tunnels to China
I use to believe that if someone kept digging, he or she would discover China on the other side of the world. Evidently, my dogs still believe that, because they just won’t…give…up. You should see my yard. Not just holes to China, but holes to Egypt and Great Britain too!
Similarly, Christians must persevere. This life is full of hardship and trauma and chaos and pain, but China is on the other side! Heaven, that is. Don’t let a little dirt keep you from tunneling. You were made to explore. To discover. To reach the finish line on the other side.
Through Christ, you can, and will, persevere.
Kimberly Gleason is a Grand Rapids-based personal and executive leadership coach, author, speaker, and trainer. She specializes in helping leaders to improve individual and team performance, effectiveness, engagement, retention, and results. You can find out more about her free e-books, blog, resources, presentations, and programs at www.kimberlygleasoncoaching.com.