June 8, 2010

Running Free

We have the cutest, sweetest yellow lab and it’s been brought to my attention that I don’t write about her enough…hardly at all in fact. Maybe it’s because she’s not a troublemaker who provides frequent doses of writing inspiration. Regardless, she’s obviously far more forgiving than the furry, four-legged feline in our house, because she’s never once mentioned the fact that I’ve written about (and even gotten published) stories about the C.A.T!

Tess is my walking buddy. With leash in hand and iPod on (my ears, not Tess’), she and I travel the neighborhoods for not-quite daily treks. Besides getting much needed exercise, it’s on these outings that I get writing ideas, sort through personal problems and let my mind wander. As much as God speaks to me, I hear Him during these jaunts.

Tess on the "best day ever"
One thing I realized on a recent walk is that Tess (and probably most dogs) teaches me a lot about what a relationship with Jesus should look like. For one thing she’s filled with fruit of the Spirit! Love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness and faithfulness top the list. Gosh, I could write a volume on the joy displayed through her wagging tail! She radiates joy at the prospect of walks, fetches with the tennis ball or rides in the car. Add a hike and a swim in a stream and it’s the best day ever!

The other day Tess and I started out on a walk. Usually I choose the route, but this day I let her lead. Within steps out of the front door Tess pulled on the leash—with single-minded determination. It was obvious she had a plan. I could hardly walk fast enough to keep up and think she would have run to our destination if I let her off leash.

We took a right turn, then a left and another left. Then a right. Turn after turn Tess led and I followed, curious to see her intentions. About twenty minutes later we arrived at our destination. A local park.

The funny thing is we hardly go to this park and hadn’t been for months. But, Tess knew exactly where she wanted to be. I let her off her leash to run and sniff and be a dog. The slobbery smile on her face confirmed her joy. She was free.

I want to pursue time with the Lord with the same purpose and passion as Tess pursued the park. I want to strain against all that holds me back to commune with my Maker—to worship with abandon and take joy in just being with Him. I want to have that route burned in may brain regardless of how much time has passed.

I want to be free.

Isn’t this why we were created in the first place—to live lives that reflect His glory? God doesn’t intend us to be constrained by leashes like busyness, self-sufficiency, doubt, fear, worry, pride, or idolatry. He also doesn’t want us to stay “inside” where it’s safe and predictable. He wants us free.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  ~2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Jesus died on the cross for our sins. In doing so He freed us and showed us the way. This freedom is exhilarating.

Just ask Tess.

I am Free
by the Newsboys
I am free to run
 I am free to dance
I am free to live for you
I am free
Yes, I am free
Through you the kingdom's come
Through You the battle's won
Through You the price is paid
Through You there's victory
Because of You my heart screams I am free
I am free


Terri Tiffany said...

Beautiful! I could just see your Tess taking off on that run to her freedom:))

Dan said...

That's the difference between my wife and and me...I work my way through life. She notices it. One of your best insights yet, Kel!

Doreen McGettigan said...

Tess is beautiful! I recently got two little rescues and am just learning to be a dog mom. God sent them to me just when I was sad and lonely and they make me smile every day. They always lead on our walks because the two of them together are collectively smarter than me (or I'm just a sucker that cannot say no)!
God Bless

Kelly said...

This story made me want to dance! I loved it!!!

Kelly said...

Its funny, because as I read this I took it another way...

Seeing Tess as a creature so close to God (I think animals tend to be more pure and simple than humans complicate themselves to be), I saw how she was leading you and how you just followed. Knowing she had a plan of action.

She took you to a place you wouldn't have even thought.

God does that to me a lot.

I just need to follow.

Thanks for opening my brain to some much needed spiritual awareness tonight. I swear, God talks through you to me.

Analisa said...


Carmen said...

What a delightful post!! :) Thanks for the reminder to trust, follow and be free !!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Kelli,

Tess is adorable! WHAT a sweet face. My walking partner is an adorable Aussie (Australian Shepherd) named Sophie. I'm quite certain she and Tess would be good friends.

Love how you let her lead you - beautiful story, and a good encouragement for us to allow God to lead us.

Blessings to you, my friend. :)

Scott B said...

Great read Kelli. I wish I could add something profound, but I can't think of anything else to say. So I'll just say again: Great read Kelli!


Sarah (GenMom) said...

Dogs are such sources of inspiration. They have that boundary-less way about them.

Hope your summer is off to a good start!

Kelly Combs said...

As a dog lover, this hit home! The 2 Bostons prefer inside & air conditioning. Bu the golden retriever would share the "best day ever" with Tess. :-)