Monday, November 16, 2009

Of SPINNING Dogs & SELF-Discipline

I have a spinning dog named Maxine. She is an out of control, undisciplined, spinning dog.
She is a large black lab, my husband adores her, our son considers her his best friend/com padre'...and I am her baby-sitter-mom most days. When I take her for her walks, early evening usually...she takes the leash and runs in every yard for the first block....
and spins,

Taking the leash and spinning, out of control in circles... 2-3 minutes at a time

Getting ready for another spin

In our next door neighbor's yard...our little cowgirl dog

Neighbors comment and laugh at her, people driving by laugh at her, she looks like a rodeo cowgirl dog, spinning in circles...whipping her leash the entire time along with her.

Not only does she spin, she DRAGS me down the street, for blocks. Yes I do have a choke on her...and let me tell you, I use it. She is just so darned happy all the time, that she doesn't care. She probably only weighs about 20 lbs. less than me, and it is a major feat to control her. I am one of those people you see that the neighbors say, " Who's walking who ?" hahaha, NOT.

My son trying to hold her back

She not only spins and drags me, she also tries to fight any dog we run into...10 lbs. to 130 lbs., they are all the same to her. I usually have to choke her ( use the choker ), hold her back, apologize to people for her behavior, get physically on top of her & scold her, she COULD care less, she is happy being out of control and undisciplined.
Kind of like we all are, right ?
We all have areas we are undisciplined, mine are too numerous to name, I will just name the areas I AM disciplined to save time. I am disciplined about what I eat, and exercise.
That's it.
Everything else is a battle royale.
Food is not a huge deal to me, exercise those are pretty easy areas for me.

 As another example , I am disciplined to a greater extent what I watch in the media, but I don't like TV, and am disappointed ( and fed up ) ,in what I see in movies it is easier being disciplined in something that really does not hold much interest to me.
It is way easier being disciplined about something that you do not really care about , or that you have come to a conclusion about personally that you do not struggle with anymore.
It is those OTHER areas, that test us.

I think we are tested with finances for some, shopping habits for some, saving habits for some , exercise habits for some, eating habits for some, worship habits, study habits, work habits & ethics, internal morality habits or integrity. I mean many of these are a piece of cake to many...and then they fail miserably in some other key areas of life.
I know I do.

Being dragged

I know that just being 'somewhat' disciplined in some areas, but not all the really important ones (like kindness, loving your neighbor, integrity, honesty, self-sacrifice, fearing God, tithing ,etc. ),   means failing in the self-control department.  Being a Christian means I need to be disciplined...GRATEFULLY disciplined in almost ALL areas.
God does not expect perfection from us, but He does expect us to strive for it. 
Otherwise we just get slack, start spinning out of control in areas of our lives that are our weak ones.

Obedience is HUGE to God , we do it out of respect for Him, and to demonstrate we understand the fear ( respect, reverence ), of Him.
He knows what is best for us, He loves us.
I love my crazy dog. I do what I do to protect her, to TRY to discipline her, I see what can happen to her if she does not behave...if she gets too out of control ( regularly), and if she misbehaves she can hurt herself or some other dog.
I see this, she does not. 
God sees the end result of our undisciplined, out of control lives before we even make the first mistake.

Cannot get the leash out of her mouth most of the time

I know God has given us the spirit of self-control ( self discipline ), but I think we all fail to use it in areas harder for us,  because it is easier ( or more fun ), to be undisciplined, do what we ' feel' like, do  ' whatever'  tomorrow instead of today, work on that bad habit ' soon', just basically slack off in the self-control department.
Especially in today's world, with all the temptations, all the excitements, all the 'newest things',  too many opportunities , we have a very hard time being disciplined about lots of things. Things that lead us away from God.

I also know that God tells us that if we have a relationship with Him, we will get the fruits of the spirit:
" But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL. " Galatians 5:22

So if we want to develop it more, we have to grow more in our relationship with Him.
We have to listen to Him, come to the realization that He really DOES know what is best for us. That He has equipped us to stand firm against the world, against our own flesh ( our desires ). 
Again this is something very hard for me to come to grips with personally, I like to make my own decisions , come up with my own solutions to situations or problems. I don't want anyone to be my boss or my keeper.
Even God.

But I do know something more important than that.
I KNOW that I need God. I KNOW that He can equip me to do the right thing in all  circumstances. I KNOW He expects this of me.
I know I love Him and do not want to disappoint Him.

I just need to stop being more like my crazy black lab , spinning around oblivious to anyone else

and discipline myself in my weak areas...

for me,
my family ,and
my God .

I hope you have a great day, and have strength where you need it,


" Never tire of doing what is right. " 2 Thessalonians 3:13