We keep our dog in a kennel in our bedroom at night.
We learned the hard way that this is as much freedom as we can give her. She is a good dog, but when everybody is asleep, she likes to see how far her freedom will take her.
Occasionally when we wake up, though, she has managed some way to escape from her prison. Instead of laying quietly in her kennel, we awake to find her peeing in the corner of the room or barking at cars that drive by
We thought she was incredibly intelligent, like genius level intelligent. I am not sure what you might find on a canine I.Q. test, but unlocking your own cage should put her towards the top.
We thought she was smart until we learned her secret.
Saturday night we put her to bed as usual and before we had a chance to turn the lights off, she performed her Harry Houdini routine right in front of us. The kennel has two doors, one in the front and one on the side. While my wife and I use the front door to get her in and out of it, apparently our kids use the side door. Whenever they let her out, they leave this door unlocked, and all she has to do is push it open.
She was smart to figure this out, but dumb enough to do it right in front of us.
Her trick reminded me of myself. My entire life I have been extremely good at figuring out others expectations of me and then making sure I lived up to them. At church I knew what I could get away with and what I could not. I would put on a good show to make people happy.
I was much better at it than my dog. I knew when to turn the show on and when to turn it off. I never let anyone on to my secret.
Although I kept up my appearance in all aspects of my life, there was no place where it was more critical than at church. Wear the right clothes, use the correct language, say the correct things when praying, and I could fit in extremely well. Nobody ever questioned who I claimed to be or what I was really like on the inside.
Even though the day I gave up my secret never came, a better one did.
God spoke to my heart and I no longer wanted to pretend to be something I was not. God knew the entire time what my secrets were. He saw that I was a phony. He knew about my lies.
Instead of simply exposing me as a liar, he did something better. He forgave me. He freed me from the necessity of having to put on a show. He made it possible for me to be myself right where I am. He also gave me the freedom to change from within. Instead of putting on a good show, my heart and motivations could change, and I could love others for the first time.
I still had issues with the form religion. Even though my heart had changed, I still liked rules and checklists as means to evaluate others. God is helping me confess that too.
In what ways have you tried to make others think you were someone you are not? Does your pet do any tricks?
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