Once we are on a path that has either a fence or natural boundary along the edge of the path, I let Dusty, my blind Brittany off leash. He is feeling good. He remembers being free and wants to walk fast, explore and then run. So I let him go, even though I am concerned that he will hit his head on the fence, a tree, or even a rock. I continue to tell him “easy, easy” to caution him. Most of times he listens to me.
Sometimes, I have to let him find the boundary on his own, so that he stays on the path. My Christian life has mirrored this same pattern, feeling free, walking, exploring and running through life. Sometimes I have sinned, hit my head, body, and relationships on a rock. I have bounced back onto the path, but have always had some bruises. I have tried to learn from hitting the boundary. Distance from God has always pulled me back to the path, because nothing in my exploration of boundary limits or going off the Christian path has been worth losing my connection to God leading me in my life.
Once Dusty is confident of his boundaries, he runs. He runs straight, then trots fast, then runs, not knowing what is ahead. As long as the path does not turn too much, he can run by bouncing off the soft grass boundaries on either side. I tell him to “go” and then watch his joy which is evident in his wagging tail. In the same way, God says go, run, trot, check the boundaries. Go confidently into the future. I have had to stop and check my boundaries when God’s word means something new to me, or changes my perspective on my life. Sometimes it has been a friend who has said, go, smile, run, walk, but know your future is in God’s control. And then He smiles at me running joyfully.
Dusty runs with his master by his side until his master wears out. He can listen and feel me at the end of his leash and go very confidently and very quickly through his trail on the path of his life. My job is to look out for obstacles and holes in the path, but to keep a constant fast pace, running with abundant abandon. Christ does this for me as well, leading me in a race in this quick passing life, and never wearing out, giving me freedom as long as I am close by his side. The lessons I learn daily from my blind dog apply to my life – running with abandon, with clear guidance and boundaries from God.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1 NIV