Here at the Florence Animal Farm we lovingly call home, there are things we routinely do – such as feeding time, daily walks, monthly heartworm, vet visits, that keep our doggies in tip-top shape and retain some sort of order. Ron and I spend a good bit of time with the pups – whether it is traveling and working with them in our business, or just watching them play in the backyard, they are an integral part of our lives. Not only do we have conversations about the dogs, we have conversations with the dogs. (If you have animals, you understand this is completely normal. If you don’t, then you probably think we are certifiably crazy.) One day it occurred to me that there are words and phrases we use continuously with the dogs. To be more specific, we use three particular words quite frequently: STOP, GO, STAY.
THREE PARTICULAR WORDS
On any given day, you can rest assured that Ron or I have said one or more of the following commands:
“Stop barking! It’s just a cat.”
“Stay! I’ll be right back.”
“Go get in your kennel.”
As their master, it is our job to give them cues and commands. Sometimes those cues and commands keep the doggies safe, other times the cues and commands keep order in our home.
All throughout scripture, God uses those same three words to instruct us. In fact, I have a feeling that if He came down to earth to actually live with us, work with us, and spend time with us, He would probably get frustrated and want to shake some sense into us. I bet He would use the words STOP, GO, STAY as well.
STOP WORRYING. (Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. - Philippians 4:6)
STOP COMPLAINING. (Do everything without complaining and arguing. - Philippians 2:14)
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. (Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. – Galatians 6:4-6)
GO SPREAD THE GOSPEL. (And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. – Mark 16:15)
GO LOVE OTHERS. (Love your neighbor as yourself. – Mark 12:31)
GO THE EXTRA MILE. (If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. - Matthew 5:41)
STAY IN THE WORD. (Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. – Joshua 1:8)
STAY OPTIMISTIC. (Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. – Romans 8:18)
STAY FAITHFUL. (Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. – Hebrews 10:23)
As I said earlier, the commands we use with the dogs are to keep order in our home and to keep them safe – because we love them dearly. God has given us an entire book of commands because He knows what is best, He wants order in our society, and He cares for us and loves us dearly.
OBEYING OUR MASTER
Although the dogs obey our commands the majority of times, there are plenty of times they take our commands as a suggestion or ignore them all together. Even so, we never stop loving them or caring for them. I pray we always obey the instruction of our Master, but when we mess up and fail, we can rest assured that He still loves us. He always has and He always will.