Leashed or loose

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, January 28, 2024

Over the Christmas holidays, my grand-dog named Scout came to visit. He brought his parents, my middle one and her hubby, with him, of course. He’s my beautiful shiny black mostly-lab, part probably-pit, doesn’t really matter because he’s so great, four-legged grandchild with the biggest brown eyes you’ve ever seen.

We wore him out with all the excitement in the house. After a while, he just gave up, laid his head in my lap, and took a well-deserved nap. But, before all that, he had been seriously intrigued by the neighbor’s similar-looking dog roaming around in our yard. And so, Scout sat on the couch and talked loudly to the one on the other side of that window!

You see, Scout didn’t understand why he was inside while the other dog was outside. They were in separate places. One roaming freely, one seemingly confined against his will indoors, at least for the moment. Scout’s boundless energy and unparalleled enthusiasm could have gotten him in some trouble outside. In our trips out there, it was not a man walking a dog — it was a dog walking (running!) this man, struggling to pull his leash as I held on with all I had. Scout was amazed by our not-so-friendly-toward-him cat, the many squirrels, the horses, cows, and goat. He loved his exploring time, but it had to be just that.

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Had I unhooked Scout from his leash, we would likely still be looking for him. The world and its excitement would be too much for him to handle. He would run, he would chase, he would do his best to figure out why that other dog got to roam around all by itself with no supervision!

We behave like Scout some days. We tug, jerk, and pull on the reigns that God tries to have on our lives. We think we would rather roam around freely, chasing whatever fancied our whim at the moment. And if we continue in that untamed energy, if we run with no boundaries, if we ignore the one trying so hard to hold the leash, and just take off on our own, we are as lost as the one who never saw a leash, a rule, or a commandment.

Scout will grow up to be a fine grand-dog in his home with boundaries, supervised outdoor excursions, and windows through which he can look, but not touch what could lead him in the wrong direction. Maybe we should all heed the example of that furry four-legged friend. Yield to the hand of the One who knows the harm we could experience turned loose on our own this week.

Just a thought. ’Til later.

Brad Campbell can be reached at mastah.pastah@yahoo.com.