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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Following Jesus Has Taken the Fun Out of Sinning

By Shiloh The Shepherd’s Sheep Dog
Mommy - Cheryle M. Touchton

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:14

I had a slip today. I didn’t mean to do it but it happened so fast. I saw the opening and I just took it. A few weeks ago, I finally understood my job. Mommy follows Jesus and I follow Jesus by following Mommy. We tell people about Jesus. When I started listening and obeying, life became good. Mommy is happier and gives me more freedom. I’m also getting a lot more treats.

So what happened today? It all started with going into Camping World. Mommy turned on the generator and then surprised me by pulling out the leash. Camper World is Dog Friendly and that meant I was Camping World Friendly.

They didn’t have the light bulb Mommy needed so we went back to Hallelujah. The generator was off. 

“I thought I left that on,” Mommy said as she pushed the button. It didn’t work.

“On no! I can’t leave you in the camper with no generator. I need help.” We rushed back inside.

“It’s OK,” a nice man wearing a Camping World shirt said soothingly. “It’s broken at just the right place. Come on back and we’ll check you in right now.”

It was easy. Mommy was already in their computer. They took Mommy’s keys and we sat down. For the first two hours, I had fun doing my tricks and helping Mommy tell people about Jesus. Then, I got tired of being on a leash.

I barked. Mommy ignored me. Then I howled. She shushed me. I twisted to get out of the collar and she scolded me. She started reading her book and I tried to chew my way out of the leash.

“Stop it Shiloh!” Mommy commanded. “Leave it.”

Finally, the nice man sat by Mommy. “We have your generator running. It’s perfect for now. Your fuel pump had gone dry and we had to prime it. We think it overheated and shut off. It probably means the fuel pump is going bad but we can’t be sure. It may work fine for 6 months or may break tomorrow. It’s expensive to replace because we have to take out the generator. What do you want us to do?”

“I leave my dog in there. I can’t take chances. I can’t do my work if I can’t leave her in the camper.”

“I understand,” the man said sadly. “A bad air conditioner cost me the best dog I ever had.”

“In a camper?”

“No, it was a garage shed,” he said with tears in his eyes. “It was too hot outside so I put my dog in an air conditioned garage shed. I was trying to keep her safe but the air conditioner broke." Best sales pitch ever (just kidding - he was nice and sincere) but Mommy had already decided to replace the fuel pump.

“It’s too late to put it in today. You can stay behind our building. We have hook ups and everything. I’ll drive your camper around back.”

“Stop it Shiloh!” Mommy said as we walked to the camper. Didn’t she understand that I wanted that leash off?

“Walk with me!” I quit pulling but wasn’t happy.

Mommy opened the door and I jumped in. She took off the leash while she was stepping in. We both spotted the open refrigerator door at the same time.

“How did that door get open?” Mommy wailed trying to beat me to the food scattered all over the floor. In her haste to keep me from eating everything, Mommy forgot to close the camper door.

This was when I lost it. Freedom was within reach. Mommy grabbed food and never even saw me leave.

 “Shiloh, Shiloh, where are you? Here, here!” I turned and looked but ran.

She ran and called louder and I could tell she was scared. She pulled the treats out of her pocket. “Treat, Shiloh. Treat!”

Really? I’d passed up the chicken salad and bacon for freedom. Did she think I was going to give up freedom for mere treats? The campers were bigger than Hallelujah and I ran under and around them. A man tried to catch me. Mommy kept running and yelling. People were staring. A big truck drove by pulling a camper and Mommy screamed. I looked but ran again.

Here’s the problem. Running away used to be fun. I’m fast and I forget about Mommy. Everything was different now. I still ran but it wasn’t as fun. Mommy says that following Jesus might not stop you from sinning but it will ruin it for you. I found that out. I kept looking back at Mommy and pinned my ears back. I made sure I could always see her.

All of a sudden, Mommy ran in the opposite direction. “Bye Shiloh. I bet you can’t catch me.” I chased after her. She slowed and tried to catch me and I jumped back just in time. She started running away again. She stopped and I backed up. She showed me the treat and I ran away again but she ran away from me again. This time I got too close. She lunged and right there on the cement, she fell on top, picked me up, and carried me back to the camper.

Here’s the real truth. I was glad to be in that camper with Mommy. It was hot outside. I ran to the water bowl and drank. Chasing Mommy was just what I needed to get her to carry me home.

Mommy and I meet people all the time who are running from God. They are doing things that the Bible says in sin. Mommy says sin is missing God’s mark. These people try to act like they are having fun but I’m a dog. We sense things. They aren’t happy. Sin is like that. It sucks you in by promising fun and then traps you by whispering that you can’t get out.

If you are running from God, try chasing someone running in the opposite direction. Jesus will joyfully fall on you, put His arms around you, pick you up, and carry you back to safety.

Follow the Journey

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