Collierville was still a small town on the edge of the country when we moved there in 1971. Dad had a yellow 1960 Ford pickup truck with wooden side boards that he added so we could ride standing up in the back of the truck without falling out. Our dog, Spot, was free to roam wherever he pleased. There were no leash laws, and we didn’t have a fenced yard.
Spot loved to go with us wherever we were going. If he saw the truck leaving without him, he would chase the truck down to the end of the street, and if he could catch us at the stop sign, he would jump up onto the back and climb over the tailgate. He would look around as if to say, “Hey, you almost forgot me, but I made it!” He wanted to go wherever we were going. It didn’t matter where. He just wanted to be with us.
A dog’s love for its owner is interesting. Once the bond between a dog and its owner has been formed, it’s virtually unbreakable. It’s not dependant upon what you give the dog. It may be necessary to give the dog a treat to coax it into doing a particular thing, but the dog will be loyal to its owner, treat or no treat. Your dog doesn’t love you for what you do. It loves you for who you are.
Our small group is reading a book by Francis Chan called Crazy Love. In the third chapter of the book, he asks the question, “Are we in love with God or just His stuff?” What he means is, do we love God for who He is, or do we just love what He does for us? If you think about that question, the true answer may be disturbing. I know I love God because he sent His son to die in my place. He is faithful to provide for me, my family and my friends, and I can go to Him for comfort and strength. But do I love Him enough to follow Him wherever He leads me, just because I want to be with Him? I want to. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that and answer it honestly. How about you?