What's in the Bowl?
Here is a picture of my dog, our quasi associate pastor, Water. This picture comes with a built in lesson for me. Yeah, Water has taught me something, which has left me questioning our relationship. I tell people I am not a dog dad, but rather, I am her master. I say this for many reasons, but the main one is because the child parent relationship should mature into a mutually beneficial relationship, where each part of the relationship is providing life to the other. Now that Water has taught me a valuable lesson, perhaps I must reevaluate our master slave relationship.
The picture was taken during our morning watering session. This, along with the same procedure during meal time, is the only trick Water knows (other than fetch or knowing when to tell me to take her outside, but she is half golden retriever, so those are assumed). This trick is how I am able to get so many pictures of her with ease. Some congregants were over the other day, and one was trying to tell Water to sit still so he could take her picture. She would not do it. I said, “Here is how you do it.” I then set her bowl at the other side of the kitchen and told her to sit and stay, and they then took pictures until they were content.
Water will sit in that spot by the washing machine and restroom door as long as there is a bowl by the refrigerator. She will sit there for as long as you will let her. I can text, open youtube and put a song on repeat (her favorite), e-mail someone, change clothes, and do pretty much anything else (yesterday I reheated my pizza and got my lunch ready while she was waiting). She will sit right there (sometimes she lays down because it is so taxing for her to sit still with that cast on) until you say “Good girl Water, get it.” What do you think will happen if Water gets to the bowl and it is empty?
She barks. She may or may not bark at me, sometimes it is at the ground, but she barks. Water will wait in her spot as long as there is something worth waiting for, something in the bowl. This is how I was taught a lesson this morning. You may think it is rude, cruel, or punishing to make Water sit there and wait while I do everything I need to do. However, this is a daily reality for us as Christians and humans. We sit and wait patiently for the hope that rests within the bowl. We are assuming there is either food to sustain or water to rehydrate.
However, what if we wait all that time, sometimes fidgeting because it is so painful and we do not know when we can run to the bowl, and there is nothing in the bowl? Similarly to Water, we bark. When we put our hope in the world, we wait for there to be something of value in the bowl. Many times though, we get to the bowl and realize it neither sustains nor refreshes us. We are left barking. Observers may think we are barking uncontrollably, but in reality, our barking is focused on there not being what we expected to be in the bowl for which we were waiting. When we put our hope in Christ, our desires will always be fulfilled. The food or water may be a little different than expected, but it always sustains and refreshes (John 4:13-14). I pray that you understand waiting on the Lord is necessary for Him to accomplish everything He needs to accomplish.
You can expect there will be many more blogs about Water, as I do consider her our associate pastor. I mean, when you are hurting and upset, would you rather get a visit from Pastor Mat or Water? That’s what I thought.