Life Lessons from the Dog
2 Timothy 4:5 Always be sober-minded . . .
Today, I must give some credit to my dog, as he has provided significant inspiration for my faith and writing. So it was, yesterday, as I was out for a run (dog on leash), pondering today’s passage. We were doing fine, running along, until he saw a squirrel. He is usually quite obedient, but in his squirrel-possessed state of mind, I do not think he was even capable of hearing me.
Though the dog was not drunk on any chemical, he was none-the-less completely intoxicated by that squirrel. Under the influence, he pulled at his leash to the point of choking himself on his collar. Though his breaths became painful and ragged, he could not stop.
Most of us have been there. Most of us have allowed our mind to become so warped by the pursuit of or indulgence in a thing, that we behave as one intoxicated. It may be a chemical, but we also succumb to the influence of sex, money, anger, affirmation or any defect of our flesh.
Any alcoholic will tell you that just one drink changes the way he or she thinks. One is too many and a thousand is never enough. Though we may fool ourselves into thinking we can taste a little, such thinking reveals that our intellect is already clouded. Once we indulge just a little in a defect, it starts to work its deadly effect on our minds, controlling, seducing and intoxicating.
In today’s passage, Paul warned that we are to be of sober mind. This is profoundly difficult once we are under the influence of something. Those who are drunk often deny it. To be sober-minded is to be alert to those things to which we are tempted to become intoxicated with. It is to be painfully honest, doing whatever it takes to abandon those things.
The fool (which I have often been) thinks he can have just a taste of destruction and walk away unscathed. Personally, I would put more money on my dog walking away from the squirrel.