I recently read a great analogy from one of my favorite pastor/commentators. He shared the story of taking his dog for a walk on a clear crisp night. The sky was dazzling and took his breath away. He looked down on his dog to see him sniffing at something. The dog's nose was to the ground, completely unaware of the splendor above. This pastor shared how it reminded him of our daily posture. We tend to have our nose to the ground trying to figure out the problems right in front of us. In our trivial pursuits we miss the grand eternal wonders that God is working out around us.
As I pondered this example, my mind strayed to a dog that Matt and I had early in our marriage. He was devoted to Matt & willingly allowed me to be a part of the "family". However, he did not like the fact that Matt now took me in the car for rides and he was left at home. He would make to sure to let me know how he felt by pooping on my kitchen floor. There were also several times that he tried to find us. I don't know where he went, but after jumping out the second story window he would roll in something awful. I don't think it was intentional, his nose was to the ground and in the process he would find this offensive "thing" and loose himself in it.
I can't help but go back to this pastor's example and wonder, how many times do we not only have our eyes on the "ground" but in the process get caught up in the things of this world? We roll around in the latest gossip of social media. Perhaps we're sidetracked by the newest show or angry over the current news. We come away from it with our soul smelling foul. Like our sweetie of a dog, we can be unaware of our stench.
I fall prey to this cycle. I curl up with my husband in front of the TV too much. I let my heart agonize over the events I see in our culture and in our own churches. I can be consumed with my schedule and "needs". Before you know it I'm stinky, angry, depressed and opening my mouth when I should probably keep it shut.
What would happen if I instead looked up? If I prayed before posting a less than encouraging word or took a deep breath before getting in a huff over something I disagree with? What would happen if I heeded the direction of God's word?
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.
Seek first the kingdom of God and all these other things will take care of themselves.
Sometimes it would take our puppy quite awhile before he would find his way home. But when he did, we couldn't help but wash him clean, feed his empty belly and love all over him. Jesus is even more gracious. No matter what we roll in or how long it takes to come home, He will be waiting to wash anew, restore us and love us.
But can I issue a challenge for both of us? Let us not look down and get lost in this world to begin with. Let us instead look up in wonder of all that God is doing and be adorned in His glory as the bride that we were redeemed to be.