Dogs in Heaven?
He has put eternity into man’s heart . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11
I don’t think it takes much imagination to know what’s going through my dog’s mind most of the time. Is this food? I’ll chew on it. Oh, this smells like death. I’ll rub myself in it before I eat it. I like you. I’m going to lick you right after I eat this.
When I look up at the stars, I can’t help but wonder about their origin, nature, distance and purpose. When my dog looks up at the stars, he does not think about origins, infinity or God. If he’s aware of them at all, he’s thinking, Can I eat those?
Today’s passage reminds us that this is God’s gift which sets us apart from the rest of creation. Made in his image, we have the capacity to know something beyond the physical world. We were created with a sixth sense, a spiritual sense, with which we are able to experience God, eternity and a greater spiritual reality.
Though God put this eternity-sense in our hearts, it has become emaciated and shriveled from years of disuse in most of us. In our self-addiction, we pursue only that which we can see, feel, hear, taste and touch. Attempting to satisfy ourselves with money, status, drugs, food or sex, we feed the flesh and starve the spirit.
God may have given us the capacity to know the spiritual, but we carry this gift in a flesh full of flawed and destructive desires. When we find our purpose in the flesh, we automatically quench the spirit. When we live only for the desires of self, we think like the dog. Can I eat this? Will this bring me immediate gratification?
When however, we take time with God, pursuing him, loving, and obeying him, we grow our spirit life. Doing so, diminishes the flesh life’s control over us. Daily, we must choose to abandon our addictions of the flesh so that we may grow our spirit life. This is how we become who we were created to be.