Stupid Sticker Weeds
“Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD. Genesis 13:17-18
My dog and I have the same routine every morning. I send him outside to do his business while I make coffee and by the time I’m done, he’s back at the front door. He gets a treat when he does the routine right and so, he’s obedient . . . except for the other morning. There must have been deer in the yard which made him do it, but instead of coming back, he ran off, getting covered head to toe in those horrendous little stickers that cling to everything. There must have been thousands of them buried in his fur. He returned with his head down, knowing that he’d done wrong. It took hours – which he hated – for my wife and I to pick them out. If he’d have remained obedient, following instructions, all that misery would have been avoided. Instead, though, he saw something he wanted and impulsively chased it, paying a painful price.
As irritated as I was with the dog, I’ve got to see myself in his behavior. I know how I’m meant to live. I know that, as a Christian, God has saved me from myself. Now, it’s my job to love him and love my neighbors. Daily, I must abandon my self-destructive nature to follow Christ. I want this, but I also want to run off. I see something I desire and impulsively, I must chase it. Yes, I find immediate gratification, but then I pay the price later.
Abraham wasn’t perfect, but over and over, we read that God spoke and Abraham obeyed. In today’s passage, God again asked Abraham to move, which he did. Repeatedly, we see this pattern in Abraham’s life – God commands, Abraham obeys, and then Abraham receives a blessing.
I’ve experienced this. I know that when I point my life at God, that my life is blessed. I know that I find life, joy, and peace only when I do what I know to be right. I also know the misery of following my way, but still, I impulsively want to run off like my dumb dog, chasing deer through painful stickers. My persistent flaws can be frustrating, but I must understand that I’ll not be made perfect in this life. So, daily, I must make the conscious and purposeful effort to abandon my way and point my life at God. If I don’t do this, I’ll find myself running off through the weeds and stickers, finding only misery.