Recently, my roommate and I were asked to foster a nine month old Golden Retriever puppy. It was explained that his previous owners did not have enough free time to play and care for him appropriately. We gladly opened our home to this puppy with the hope of quickly training him and placing him in a good home.
Then we met Maverick!
Maverick is a gangly, red blur that streaks around the house and yard at a thousand miles an hour. He is all legs and tail. He has no control of his body…he wiggles in circles knocking everyone/anything over. He becomes so easily distracted by his surroundings that he trips over the curbs when we are walking. He is an extremely intelligent dog learning all our commands quickly. His follow-through on those commands, however, is sketchy at best. He has so many bad habits that it has been hard to pick which one to address first. Maverick’s greatest desire is to be obedient…it really is. But his body and mind get ahead of his good intentions. Before he even realizes it he is doing exactly what we just told him not to do. As soon as he is disobedient he disciplines himself by getting in his kennel.
Maverick doesn’t like to be disciplined. While most dogs will halt their disobedient behavior when you raise your voice saying, “NO!”…not Maverick. When you raise your voice his disobedient behavior intensifies. The only way to discipline him is to talk in a soft, gentle voice. He cocks his head and stops his disobedient behavior.
I began wondering if this is how God feels about me. I can imagine Him thinking to Himself, “Kirsten…she’s fairly intelligent…yet she has a hard time being obedient…she is easily distracted and ends up tripping over things…she has a lot of bad habits, which one shall I address first…she really wants to be obedient, yet she always gets ahead of Me…she knows when she’s disobedient and is instantly sorry for her behavior…”
Then I realized that God has always spoken to me in that calm, quiet voice of His. When I first came to the Healing Service I heard His quiet voice through the Priests and the Prayer Team Members. As I read His Word, His love letters to me (and you), His gentle voice guided me to obedience.
The hardest part for me was trying to hear His quiet voice over the noisiness of my disobedient behavior. If He had yelled it would have blended in with the noise. The quietness made me cock my ear to hear His voice. I had to slow down in my misbehavior in order to hear Him.
How often have I ignored His quiet voice…choosing to continue in my disobedient behavior? God’s discipline is always in my best interest. He isn’t doing it to steal my joy. He is doing it because He knows my disobedience will result in devastating circumstances. He loves me and sees the bigger picture. He is patient and will continue guiding me with His quiet voice through this maze I call “life.”
He wants me healed of my disobedient behavior. His desire is for me to be whole: body, mind, and spirit. He doesn’t want me to be a maverick. He wants me to be His obedient daughter.