Lessons I’ve Learned From Buddy The Dog – Part 1 Joy
…For the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
One sunny winter afternoon I walked along an old track in the Juniper forest east of my Central Oregon home and watched my dog Buddy run. Buddy runs with such abandon, dodging sagebrush, leaping over weather-bleached juniper logs, chasing imaginary rabbits and deer. I’ve learned that when Buddy runs, he’s not running to get somewhere or to catch something, he’s running for the sheer joy of running!
Sometimes watching Buddy run, I just laugh out loud. I can see the joy in him, joy that comes from doing what God created him to do. I believe I can feel the joy of the Lord when I watch Buddy run.
When Buddy runs, he’s doing exactly what God created him to do. Because God is so good, I believe he made us to have the same joy in doing what he created us to do that my dog Buddy has in running through the forest and the fields.
Why does it so often seem so hard for us to simply do what God created us to do? Why is it so hard to know what God created us to do and experience the simple, profound joy in doing it?
Eric Liddell, the Scottish distance runner featured in the 1981 movie “Chariots of Fire,” is quoted, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
Just as I often take Buddy to the forest or the desert to create opportunities for him to run, I think God loves to create opportunities for people like you and me to “run!” And I believe that when we are simply doing what God created us to do, he rejoices – he feels the pleasure of it with us!
What if we parents and teachers and pastors and other influencers looked carefully and caringly at those in our care and helped each of them find just what God created them to do? What if we made it our joy to create opportunities for each person we love and influence to do the things that they were created for – the things that give them joy? What if we did that? I’m just sayin’…
You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12 NIV)