Glenn Sprunger, MA, MDiv, LSW, is a therapist at our Ashland office. He shares encouragement and truth in his blog, Spirit Driven. Below Glenn shares an important lesson that his dog, Camper, has been teaching him lately.
What a Dog Can Teach Us
"God is using Camper to slow me down. When we’re out walking, Camper will see or hear something and will “stop-on-a-dime”. It doesn’t matter what I think or what I want; when Camper is going to stop, then we’re going to stop. I wish we would pay closer attention to God when He tells us to stop, look, and listen. People are trying to find out God’s will while we’re on-the-go. Slowing down and stopping makes busy people uncomfortable or anxious. We can just stay on-the-go and fill our schedules with activities, but we’re not likely to listen, hear, or obey God.
When we’re out for a walk, Camper always stops when he sees a person or an animal or when he hears a loud noise. Campus gets confused when people don’t stop to make friends with us. He’ll just wait and wait, hoping that people will turn around and want to stop and get to know us. Why are dogs better than we are at connecting? Why do dogs stop and drop everything just to show their love and care?
When I’m with hurting people who begin to cry, Camper will stop chewing on his favorite bone and will come to comfort people who need a fresh expression of God’s love. Why are dogs better at noticing the feelings and struggles and needs of those around them than we are? I know God made us in His incredible, loving image to be sensitive and expressive and relational, but somehow along the way we’ve learned to ignore and tune people out. Instead of showing affection, we withhold our love. How can other things distract and become more important than connecting with God and people and even our pets? Why do we prefer and become more used to having our own space instead of getting closer to each other?
What if we learn from Camper and begin setting aside time to look up, look around, listen, hear, and see all that God has for us? What if we practice carving out time to practice being spiritually, emotionally, and relationally present? How long would it take before we’re begging for more of God because we’re noticing Him and hearing what He hears and says? What if we remove the distractions and open God’s Word? I wonder what the LORD will say when we listen and allow His Word to speak into our lives."
Why not stop everything and reflect on a few questions?
Will you stop and linger with God today?
Will you chew on God’s Word until it changes the way you think and live?
Will you stop and look into the eyes of those you love and tell them and show them how much you love them?
To read more blogs by Glenn Sprunger, visit spiritdriven.org.