Ephesians 6:5-7 (NIV)
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,
We have 2 dogs One a Dalmatian and the other a Husky.
Our Dalmatian, Diamond, has many positive attributes. When I come home from working, she is waiting for me at the door and greets me with her vocal welcome and her tail wagging eagerly. She will chase the sticks I throw for her, and if she feels like it, she will even bring them back to me. She usually comes immediately when I call her . Sometimes, "immediately" can have a number of different meanings, especially if there's another dog around, a squirrel or a particularly good smell that might not be there next time and has to check it out now.
In general, it can truly be said that Diamond enjoys life to the fullest. One of her best traits is that she loves her people. In fact she thinks of her family as her responsibility to have us take care of her.
I can say many good things about Diamond, but I can’t say that she works. But then, dogs don't work! It's not in their nature!
Or is it? Now we look at our other dog Dakota my son’s Husky.
Up in the far north you will find several breeds of dogs that are renowned for their work ethic. We generally lump them all together under the name "Husky", but if you want to be precise, you will find the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute, the Samoyed, the Eskimo dog and the Greenland dog!
These dogs are bred to work, and when not working, they generally don't move all that much. They want to conserve their energy for the important things of life!
What's amazing is that the blood vessels of these dogs are quite different from dog breeds of the south. This permits them to stand, run and sleep on snow for long periods of time without frostbite. They don't even suffer from the "frozen-paw-stuck-in-the-snow" scenario! In addition, they have the ability to eat less than other dogs their size, all the while being able to work much harder!
Another attribute of the husky is that it does not require shelter, even in sub-Arctic temperatures. They have extremely thick fur, and just like in the movie, "Eight Below", they curl up with their noses under their tails and let the snow bury them. This provides them with much needed insulation and shelter. They even have thick fur growing between their toes, providing them with the insulation they need for their feet! This can be seen as Dakota tries to make the turn on our wooden floor to get out the back door as he slides around the corner.
The coat of the husky actually lies in two layers: The soft undercoat, which provides the warmth that they need; and the silky outer coat, which gives protection against wind and water. It could be said that they come completely equipped for the winter! No winter boots for them!
Huskies generally can carry at least half their body weight, and they can pull twice their weight over miles and miles of snow and ice. When used to pull a sled, the husky will assume a specific, steady, fast trot that they can keep up for hours with very little effort. Some have been observed, for short distances, to haul up to 2000 lbs.
Of course huskies do have their downsides. They aren't really known to be the "Dalmatian" kind of dog. They love to be petted, but most huskies have a streak of independence, much like their cousin the wolf. Although they work hard, most of them refuse to fetch, track or do little tricks. But if you look at it from their point of view, you would understand. After all, they are bred to work, not to be clowns! That would be far too humiliating!
We can learn a lesson from each of our dogs: the `Dalmatian' types, who enjoy life and love people; and the `husky' types, who work to their full potential. God asks us to do both! To love people as Jesus loves them, to enjoy the life He has given us, and to work to our full potential, as if we are working for God!
If we have both of these attitudes, there is no way we would ever find the time (or the reason!) to grumble and complain. Wouldn't that go far towards attracting more people to God?
Dear Lord, thanks for the lessons that You put all around us. Help us to have our eyes and hearts open to them. As we see from the Dalmatian and the Husky help us enjoy the life You have given to us and to do the work that You have before each of us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.