The other day my wife and I were driving past one of the many parks in our community. I commented about the unleashed dog and its owner, the sole occupants on the grass. Then I said to her, “Do you think the dog thinks it is in charge and that the man is its pet?” There is was, loping around the ball field, and the owner dutifully walked after it with an unhooked leash in his hand. From all appearances, the dog was the leader and the man was the follower.
This made me think about my relationship with God. Do I make the similar assumption that I am the leader and He is simply following my lead? Do I assume that because I am unfettered I am free to do anything and go anywhere my heart desires? Do I assume that I can disregard the master’s commands if they are inconsistent with my own desires? Do I live a carefree life, gamboling in the grass, expecting that He will always be right behind me? Do I think that I am the one in charge in our relationship? Do I mistake the ability to occasionally choose my path with the capacity to consistently walk rightly with the Lord?
You [the Lord] asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Job 42:3 (NIV)
Like Job, we all, at some point in our lives, come to the place of acknowledging that we are not the masters of our own destinies; God is. We all, at some point in our lives, come to the realization that we speak about things we do not understand or have knowledge about. We formulate plans without the privilege of prayer, we make selections without the strength of the Spirit and we begin walking without the wisdom of the Word. When we forget who is the master and who is not, we obscure the plans God has for us. We are so busy nosing around in the soil that we neglect the blessings of being with the Lord.
I am reminded that I cannot think up or imagine the fullness of what God has in store for those who faithfully follow Him. I am like that dog in the park, who is toying with an expired squirrel while a steak dinner is being prepared for me at home. I am like that dog in the park, thinking that I am free as I wander into oncoming traffic, oblivious to the dangers present just beyond the sidewalk. I am like that dog in the park, fully reliant upon the kindness, provision and direction of the master, whether I know it or not. I am like that dog in the park – only as free as the Master allows for my own safety and satisfaction.
I praise God that He lets me run ‘off the leash’ regularly, always watching, always ready to restrain me if I get into trouble. I praise God that He is my Master – perfectly protecting, pampering and providing for me, whether I know it or not.