We are celebrating in our house. A seemingly small change has taken place but it has opened my heart in ways I can hardly express. Emma. A tender-hearted, playful pup entered our lives about six weeks ago. This lovely yellow lab came to us from a family who couldn’t handle the demands of a dog. Emma had been deprived of attention and care for so long it didn’t take much to win her heart. A belly rub, a few biscuits and a life-long friend became ours. What a treasure.
Already two years old, she has learned to speak our language with enthusiasm. Her vocab consists of five strong words – ‘toy’, ‘bed’, ‘go’, ‘no’, ‘good’. It’s been tricky, but new words are slowly taking root: ‘drop it’. For a dog that so willingly obeys, carries her own leash and heels on walks, we have found only one major flaw: an obsession with the infamous tennis ball. Emma won’t share it. Not for food, biscuits or anything. She carries it in her mouth with a stubborn persistence that says “don’t you take this from me.”
In some ways I see myself with a sort of tennis ball. There are things I hold onto because it’s comfortable and the control is reassuring. I could make a great list of all the things God is challenging me to let go of… well, the fear of having a dog wreck my house for one, the fear of change, and the list goes on. In general, all fear is a false refuge. We think if we don’t step into the change, if we don’t face the fear, we’ll be okay. But the opposite is true. Facing fear is the beginning of true freedom, the start of real faith taking flight.
And how was I to know that a sweet, faithful doggy friend was to come on the other side of ‘letting go’ of my fear?
Control is one thing we have to release when we surrender our lives to God. I can hear that song playing “Let it go… let it go…” (aw, such a good movie) It’s the last thing you want to hear when you need to do it the most.
So, I’m helping my puppy learn this art of releasing the thing she is most attached to – the tennis ball – with small steps. Dropping things she isn’t as obsessed with first… toys, her collar, etc. Soon we will graduate to dropping the greatest obstacle to our relationship – that tennis ball.
What does the tennis ball represent in your life? What is the thing standing between you and God? Embrace the letting go. God will exceed your expectations of the outcome through His goodness displayed in your life.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Psalm 84:12 “Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” – 2 Timothy 1:7