Yesterday, I took my dog, Roxy, out for her afternoon walk. As we were about to make our way back to the house, she had her nose the ground – clearly investigating something that interested her. When I called her to come along, she lifted her gaze – not enough to look straight at me, but just enough to make eye contact. It’s that look whereby she acknowledges my call, but she doesn’t want to listen; I know she’s heard me, but she refuses to heed my command.
No doubt, anyone who owns a dog has experienced similar moments. But what struck me in that instant was how often I act like my dog in my relationship with Christ. How many times have I heard his call to obey and, instead of heeding his word, I glance up and just keep walking? I’m sure only he knows the number.
But this is one of the beautiful things about the gospel, the message never changes. To the most hardened skeptic, to the inquisitive seeker, to the backsliding believer, to the growing saint, Jesus says, “Repent and believe.” In this life there are always things about us that must change and ways in which we must embrace God’s provision in the gospel.
Whatever stage of the journey to faith or of faith you are on, Jesus’ call is the same. His work is finished: his blood shed and body raised. And as prophet and teacher, he still proclaims the old, old story, calling everyone everywhere to turn from sin and trust in him.
Though in that instant I wasn’t very pleased with my dog, God used her as an unwitting participant in a lesson in the gospel for me. And for that I was thankful.