An undated sermon note, probably from a sermon by Mike Gunn at Harambee.
When God puts us on a leash, He’s saying, “Let’s go for a walk!” You want to walk with God? Get comfortable wearing a leash.
There’s something to be said for learning about our relationship with God through analogy with our pets.
Earlier this year, Jenn asked me what pleasure I thought God derived from being with us. I said, “Grynne could probably wonder the same thing about you. Sure, she knows how much pleasure she gets from you; but what could a creature as low as her possibly offer to a being as great and powerful and sophisticated as Mommy? She probably has no idea the pleasure you get when she curls up in your lap and purrs. Sometimes that’s probably what God revels in: when we come to him, crawl up in his lap, and purr.”
But we’d often rather perform for God than curl up in his lap. We’d rather run free on our own than go for a walk with Daddy.
But you know what? That enthusiasm that dogs display when you pick up the leash and they hear the words “…go for a walk…”? That’s the kind of enthusiasm God would like to see from us.
Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:19)
I’d forgotten the idea of wearing a leash with God at the other end… I’ve never been on to be restricted, so it’s a daunting concept, at best.
[Note: Grynne is one of our cats; her sister's name in Bearrett.]
That is, I’ve never been “one” to be restricted. :/
I know what you mean, Jenn. But the exciting thing about being “slaves to righteousness” is that it is ultimately freeing.
I also like the illustration of a train. A train is designed to run on tracks. It fulfills it purpose as long as it remains on the tracks. Tracks may seem restrictive, but if the train should derail, any freedom it had is completely gone, and no progress will ever be made.
Thanks for the notes!
I was thinking about this on the way home this evening, and I actually think it must have been Seth McBee or John Prince who provoked this thought. I can’t imagine Mr. Gunn talking about the joy of a dog on a leash.
I think I’ll go spend more time with my doG now.
p.s. what version is the CEV. I like the translation in your Trajectories post
Okay, that sounded a little irreverent, mixing canine with divine. But see, I have my pup Elsa, and the post was about dogs, but metaphorically about God (or the other way around) and so I kind of meant that I want to sit in the lap of Jesus and at the same time go delight in my lab right now because I’ve had an eye opener both ways…. make sense, anyone?
No — that makes perfect sense, Justin… particularly with Elsa!
CEV is the Contemporary English Version. I think that’s the one they’re using to preach from at Soma Renton now.
Yeah, guess I pay attention, huh?
Well… I hope you noticed I said “I think…”