I am the happy and proud owner of a part-Australian Shepherd, mostly mutt dog. She came home from the shelter with the name Kaya, which was only a little awkward because my neighbors had a daughter with the same name. I don't know how I got so lucky, but she really is a great dog. She is incredibly well-behaved, great with children and other dogs, and whoever the crazy person was that left her at the shelter, clearly had done a lot of training with her first. She loves me and I love her. I feed her, bathe her (okay, I pay other people to bathe her usually), and provide her with shelter and belly rubs. In return, she gives me a joyous homecoming and a hero's welcome every time I walk in the door. I have no doubt that she will protect me, and stay loyal to me, until her dying breath.
She has many funny quirks (for starters, she's a “talking dog,” which only sounds fun if you aren't the one living with a dog that never stops trying to talk to you, she also knows the difference between dress shoes and running shoes. She cries when I put on the “wrong” pair.), but there is one quirk I learned a lesson from this week. No matter where I go or what I do, she is careful to stay right in my line of sight. As I sit and type this, I am on my couch, feet up, laptop where a laptop goes, and the TV just ahead of me. The dog has carefully placed herself just ahead and to the right- in my line of sight over the laptop. If I move, sit up, and face the chairs on the other side of the room, she will get up, walk the few feet over there, and resume her busy lifestyle of sleeping 20 hours a day.
I recently mentioned the dog's determination to stay in my line of sight to my mother who was visiting me. I sat on the couch, Mom sat in a chair, while we watched TV. And as usual, the dog parked herself right in front of the TV. Later when I talked to my mom the dog relocated between us. I told her how the dog regularly behaves like this, and I find it bizarre. My mom thought for a moment and said, “I suppose that if you knew that your life, happiness, food, and all other necessities depended upon just one person, you would probably make sure that you did everything you could to constantly keep them aware of your existence too.”
And that is when it hit me. It goes both ways.
Am I keeping the Lord right in front of me at all times? Do I see Him in all that I do and everywhere that I go?
All that I have, and all that I am, I give unto the Lord, and I have received from the Lord. I believe that I am always in the Lord's sight. I believe that He can always see me. But can I always see him? Am I making sure that I sit in just the right place so that I can see Him? Do I see Him everywhere? Am I making sure that I am living right so that I can enjoy all that He has to offer me? I know that He has put reminders and helps out there for me everywhere, to keep me safe, nourished, and loved. Do I acknowledge and appreciate all of them? Am I trying to see them?
When I look at all my dog must do to stay in my good graces, I realize she has a lot of responsibilities. She can't run astray, because if she does, she may not find her way back home. And if she can't find home, she won't be fed, and she won't have shelter. She knows this, and chooses to stay with me. She must obey me, or risk being denied true happiness (my love and attention).
I never thought I'd be the type of person to make an analogy between the Gospel and my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and my relationship with my dog. But there you have it. Just further proof that the Lord really does put reminders in front of us everywhere, and invites us to follow and learn from Him in all that we do.
I wonder where I will see His reminders next?
Erin Ann McBride is a writer, dreamer, blogger, and sleep addict. Equal parts Mary Poppins, Carrie Bradshaw, and Mother Theresa, she goes where the wind blows, writes about relationships and dating, and is devoted to serving others. You can learn more about her at the Story of a Nice Mormon Girl, she also writes about politics at the Swing State Voter. And when she isn't too busy being fabulous, she earns a living as a blogger for the Motley Fool.