“Playing Dog”

Carter refused to eat his applesauce at lunch. He was tired and whiny and instead of fighting with him, I let him down from the table. I figured I could sneak the applesauce in just before nap and all would be well. That whole “sneaking it in” thing turned into a screaming, throw-down disaster. During one of his fits, he decided to crawl into the dog’s crate and hide. I looked at David and we read each others’ mind. “Why not?” I shrugged. “Go for it,” he replied. So, in one of my less-than-stellar-mommy-moments, I embraced that cup of applesauce, walked over to the dog’s crate, and asked Carter if he wanted to finish his applesauce in the dog’s basket like Buckshot would. “Mmhhmmm!” He chimed. So I did it. I stuck that spoon right through the slats of the dog crate and fed him the entire cup of applesauce while he was on all fours pretending to be Carter-shot (like Buckshot, our dog), and he loved every minute of it.

As I was feeding Carter a mouthful at a time through the cracks in the crate, I couldn’t help but think about how often we put ourselves in our own crate of sin. Yes, we may have invited Christ into our lives, but we refuse to embrace the liberty that he longs to give us through total obedience to Him. We give Him the “safe” areas of our heart, but we don’t let him into the deep places. We allow him access into the “safe” sins, or the easy habits to break; but the sins that motivate and control us, we keep those hidden from Him. We play them down before God. We convince ourselves that we only have a “little sin problem” that can be easily fixed, when in reality, we are stuck in our crate of sin, receiving limited nourishment from God because we refuse to obey him in every area of our lives.

We run from what is best for us and we hide in our bondage.But still, God calls to us. He walks over to our crate of sin and asks us if we want to be fed and we reply, “Yes.” He feeds us his truth through the slats of the cage, all the while drawing us to come out; to be whole, to be free.  He doesn’t turn away from us, even though we are steeped with rebellion; he pursues us. He loves us. But the nourishment we receive in the crate isn’t enough; God has so much more for us if we would let go of the comforts of our current condition. He wants us to obey. He wants us to trust him with every part of our life. He wants to be the authority in our life, not second place to the reins of sin.

After Carter finished his applesauce, he crawled out of the crate on all fours and stood up. He decided that he was done “playing dog” and went about his business of being a little boy again. Are you tired of “playing dog”? Are you tired of your sin dictating everything you do? Are you tired of hiding out in a crate and eating small amounts of spiritual food, barely getting enough to keep afloat? Why not take a chance and let God into EVERY area of your heart and mind?  “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. ” (2 Corinthians 3:17). If you let him into those places, you are inviting His freedom.  Wouldn’t it be worth it just to be free? Wouldn’t it be worth it to stop “playing dog” and live like a free child of God again?


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