Yes, I had a dog named Spot. He was a black and white mixed breed, born in our backyard. He didn’t have any spots, but hey, my brother, sisters and I were around the ages of 8,6,4 and 2 when he was born. Spot was a popular dog in our elementary school reading books. He could run! You could see Spot run. Run Spot, run! We probably had visions of grandeur when we named him Spot. We would be the envy of all the kids in school! His mother was Lassie, another mixed breed that we got free from someone, but that’s another story.
When I was in high school, I enjoyed fishing at Herb Parsons Lake, and I enjoyed taking Spot with me. He was a good companion, and amazingly compliant for an untrained dog. On one occasion, I was fishing from the bank and using night crawlers for bait. As I was sitting on the ground baiting my hook, Spot was curious, and wanted to see what I was doing. I let him sniff the bait, which was already on the hook, and before I knew it, he had snatched it in his mouth.
Suddenly, he was shaking his head around, trying to get the hook out of his lip. I scrambled to my tackle box, found my needle nose pliers, put his head between my knees and removed the hook from his lip. Problem solved! But then, he still wanted to sniff what was on the hook. I thought, “Okay, he learned his lesson, I’ll let him sniff the hook.” Suddenly, he snatched it again, and I had to rescue him with the pliers. I laughed, and thought, “What a dumb dog!”
Thinking back on that day, I realize his actions weren’t really dumb. He was just doing what was natural. We also have a tendency to do what is natural. Paul talks about that in Romans 7:15 when he says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” But if we are in Christ, we don’t have to be ruled by our natural desires. Paul gives this encouragement in I Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Next time you are tempted to do wrong, remember, don’t take the bait. Seek refuge in God’s deliverance! Night crawlers are nasty, especially when they’re on a hook!