With the weather being so nice lately, my husband and I have been taking our two dogs on a lot of walks in the past couple of weeks. My husband is an huge Cesar Millan fan, so every outing is a learning adventure for the dogs and for us. We have an almost 2 year old Labrador Retriever named Grace, and a 4 and a half month old Boxador named River.
Grace loves to the be leader and in control. She is strong-willed and determined to lead the pack. She sees everything moving both large and small, from birds in the air to bunny rabbits hiding in the bushes–ears up, eyes alert, and constantly has to be “chhhhed” back to focus on the walk. It takes almost half the walk to snap her out of the mindset that she thinks she is the leader. However, she can walk past almost any dog and it will not phase her because she is so focused on leading the way down the path.
River on the other hand, is laid back and casual. He quickly allows you to lead and submits to whoever is holding the leash. However, at times he is a little more unpredictable–its never the same thing that distracts him on his walk. One day it might be the big dog across the street, the next day he could care less. Other times its getting him just to leave Grace alone as they walk side-by-side. He loves to try to stop and sniff, so it’s pulling him back in line to the path and focusing on the walk.
Nathan and I laugh as we have discovered that some of these same traits in our dogs are very similar to how we are as people. It’s like we have two dogs that describe our personalities–me very much like Grace and River very much like my husband. Ha!
Thankfully our dogs are quick learners to the boundaries being set, and every walk is becoming more of a success. There is less correction and more simple enjoyment of the walk.
It’s kind of a funny thought when you think about it, but that is often how Father God leads us. We get to go on this journey of life with Him and He wants to lead us down the right path. He gently guides, corrects, and brings us back into focus on our walk with Him. There may be distractions along the way, or times we try to get ahead and lead, but Father God is always there reminding us that He is trustworthy in His leadership, there is safety in His authority, and great joy following Him.
Psalm 23:1-4 (NLT) states, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Be encouraged today, know that God is leading and guiding you. Know His correction and leadership is to always bring you to the path of joy and life.