As I stood, shivering in the darkness of pre-dawn this morning on the snowy back deck, I called for Lila to come back into the house.
I could see Lila.
Standing just out of reach with her nose in the air, sniffing for predators which might be lurking about in the dark perimeters of the yard.
If she caught the scent of a raccoon, or saw a flash of coyote eyes gleaming from the dark woods, she'd sail off across the snowy field like a flash and I'd never be able to stop her.
Here I was, offering her breakfast and a snuggle in front of the woodstove, but she just wanted to pursue fun and danger. Great.
As it was, she stood totally still and focused on the place where the trees and brambles met the yard, casually ignoring my calls which were growing louder and angrier. More shrill, no doubt. That's got to be soothing to wake up to. I'm sure my neighbors love me lots.
Seriously, it is as though she has dog biscuits stuffed into both ears and refuses to listen to us calling her no matter how we threaten or cajole. She effortlessly ignores the sounds of my calling without a twitch of her ears to signal that she even hears me. Lila can be three feet away from me, literally, but she is so focused on her own agenda she will will not respond at all.
When we go on runs, Lila moves silently and stealthily through the forest, belly low to the ground, never snapping a twig or disturbing a stone as she travels, hoping she'll encounter a bear or a cougar.
(Can you find the bull mastiff in the picture here?)
When she doesn't, (has she ever?) she'll settle for Rod, me and Chopper, leaping suddenly out of the woods and onto the trail and doing her best to terrify us.
She is so sweet and adorable, and we love her to pieces, but Lila is always moving to her own drummer. Her mind is focused entirely on her own agenda which usually has nothing whatsoever to do with ours.
I hate to admit it, but that sometimes reminds me of myself. Often times it takes a rock to fall on my head for God to get my attention back on Him. He can be calling my name and I'll be focused intently on the whatever has captured my attention and not even hear His voice. Sometimes, to be frank, I just don't want to hear it. Have you ever done that?
Like last night during a particularly eye-opening section of my Beth Moore Esther study. It was painful. I didn't want to work through that garbage. I closed the book and my bible and watched a DVRed Office re-run.
How very like Lila I was! Studiously ignoring the calling of my name to come do some learning and gain some valuable knowledge and wisdom. Maybe do some growing and stretching. Because I didn't want to. Because it was hard. Because I had my own agenda.
What a Lila I am!
I can't help but compare this stubborn dog with Chopper, our other bull mastiff.
When he ventures off the trail during our walks, all it takes it one brief call and the crashing and breaking sounds that ensue make it sound like a herd of angry bull elks is charging us.
It is only Chopper, grinning crazily at us as he bounds back onto the trail. His desire to please is endless and there is no need to entice with treats as he makes us feel it was the biggest pleasure in the world just to see us again.
He responds to us calling his name as though he has been waiting all his life for the sound. He leaps to his feet in an instant and dances happily over to us.
He looks eagerly up into our faces with his laughing eyes, just wanting to know what we want him to do, or where we want him to go.
His joy is all consuming and contagious.
Even when I have to put medicine in his ear, which he hates, he responds with perfect obedience. No running away or pretending he can't hear me calling. Just calm submission.
At the risk of spiritualizing things too much, I want to be like Chopper.
Searching out Jesus' face eagerly and with devotion. Ready to do His will.
So, have you noticed any Lila tendencies in your life lately?
Do you want to be more like Chopper?
Me, too, my friends.
“I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention. You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"