Today I went for a walk.
This particular walk involved my husband and two of our furbabies, Willow and Oscar. Willow is our four year old white German Shepherd. She’s the matriarch of our little brood of furries and an old hat at long walks, but Oscar…well, he’s a bit of a different story. Oscar’s our 10 month old Boxer and, as embarassed as I am to admit this, tonight was hist first official walk. We live on land and tend to substitute letting the dogs run free on the property for half an hour for leashed walks, but tonight Scott and I decided to do something we love to do but just don’t do. And walks are always more fun with dogs! Oscar did, overall, really well though he still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of walking with the pack. He’d prefer to bound in circles around the pack, run in front of the pack, lag behind it or just flat out walk into the pack. But, we’ll get there.
I also took Pickles, my foal, for a walk of sorts this evening. He let me lead him by his halter today! Small steps, for sure. But steps nonetheless.
It always amazes me how these intelligent beings – whether dog or horse – choose to forego their own wants, their own instincts even and submit to the wants of a human. And, it is most certainly a choice that they make. I watched Pickles teeter on the decision block as he pulled back slightly on the halter while I tugged slightly in the other direction and called to him. Then, in a moment, he just agreed with me and moved forward.The same thing happens with Willow when I ask her to sit. Nine times out of ten, she just does it. But every now and then she hesitates and processes the command that I’ve given her, deciding whether or not to obey it.
I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t want my animals to obey me because they are unable to decide not to. That’s not a relationship. It’s a dictatorship.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]God is not a dictator. He is a Father.[/pullquote]
I suppose that’s why God allows us to choose to obey Him. He’s not a dictator. He’s a Father. His desire is not to rule over us but to commune with us. We are not slaves in His kingdom. We are heirs to His throne. He will never force us to serve Him. He will only ask us to love Him.