Lessons From Man’s Best Friend

I went and saw the movie Marley & Me over the weekend. Maybe you haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll warn you now that there is a bit of a plot spoiler coming, so if you don’t know yet that the dog dies, you may want to not read the next couple sentences. Of course, if you read the previous sentence, you now know the dog dies, so nevermind.

I knew going in that the dog dies. I KNEW IT! I knew it would be sad. I KNEW IT! I knew it was only a movie, and that the real dog is actually alive and well. I KNEW IT! I knew I would cry, and I did.

I KNEW IT!

I love dogs. I couldn’t help but think of the dog my family had as I was growing up. She was every bit a part of our family as I was. She had personality, she showed emotions, she was sensitive, she was truly a best friend. Dogs are wonderful, however, they’re not necessarily the smartest creatures. For example, do you know what would happen if you were to leave home for a few days and you decided you’d leave food out for the dog to ration over the time you’re gone?

You’d come home to an empty dog bowl and a fat dead dog.

Dogs will eat everything you put in front of them in one sitting. If not one sitting, definitely in one day. So you can’t put out 3 or 4 days of food out and expect them to budget the food to last.

I really believe God has to sometimes treat us the way a good dog owner should treat their dog on such an occasion. God can’t, and won’t give us all that He has for us at one time. Imagine what damage we would surely do if we knew everything about our future when we were, say, 15. Think of where you are right now, and where you’ve been in the past 5-10-15 years. If you knew as a teenager the route you would eventually take, would you have been as motivated to finish school? Would you have married the person you married? Would you have taken the job(s) you took? Would you have lived where you lived? Would you have dated that person? Would you have bought that car? Would you have __________? (fill in the blank)

If you’re anything like me, you answered a couple with “yes”, but most with “no”. However, God wants us to learn from everything in our lives, including (and especially) the things to which we answered “no”. Sometimes God actually wants us to experience circumstances we would have avoided had we known what lay ahead. If you answered “no” to any of the “would you have…” questions, the answer would also be no to the question, “would you have learned that lesson?”

God gives us wisdom for today. He gives us what we need to get through today and the situation we’re in. He is not limited by the perimeter of time. He is every bit in the moment as He is in the future. However, we can only live in the now. Tuesday, my boss’s wife got a print to hang on our office wall at the church. It says, “The future is just a collection of successive nows”. Is that dead on, or what?

If God gave us more than we needed to get through today, we would devour it until we were sick or dead. We cannot eat tomorrow’s food today. We must be in the moment, deal with today. When tomorrow comes, He will provide us with what we need to get through it.

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