We have a pet—actually, it’s our son’s pet. Pepper is a ten-year-old black Cocker Spaniel. She is a cutie and a wonderful pet. She never messes in the house. She doesn’t get up on the furniture (unless we’re not watching!). She LOVES to takes walks. She’s never had any health problems, doesn’t eat much, loves people . . . she’s a great dog.
But she begs. We don’t feed her scraps from the table . . . or I should say rarely do we feed her scraps—just an occasional pizza crust. Her worst begging habits happen in the living room. Now we do have one snack that we share: popcorn. She would eat as much as I do! She’s really good at catching it!
The problem is that she must not be able to discern between popcorn and anything else we’re eating, because if we are eating ANYTHING, she sits there looking at you with those big brown eyes and that cute little face, staring at you or the food! It drives me crazy!!! Rarely do I give in because I’d really like to break her of that habit. If I tell her to go away—sharply—she will, and I feel like a big meanie! If she only understood English!
Is this how I appear to God? Am I always begging for this or that? Does He ever wish that I understood His language?
Prayer – we all understand what prayer is. Perhaps we even use the acronym to help our prayers:
But do we rush through the praising, like some ritual to a statue, so we can appease God and get to our requests? Do we really understand God’s language? Have we studied His Book enough to get a grasp of what it means to pray?
One of the best habits I have come across is to occasionally spend my whole prayer time praising and thanking God: praising Him for Who He is and thanking Him for what He does. It takes great effort. So many requests come crashing in, desires that I wish to beg Him for, but I push them aside and just praise Him. The request can wait for another day!
Now for the positive picture that Pepper gives us: She is Miss Happy-Ending. She is ALWAYS glad to see us. (Well, maybe not at bath time! She can slink slower than any dog I know!) It doesn’t matter if we’ve been away for five minutes or five days—the greeting is always the same! “So glad to see you!”
She is a faithful friend. When we were choosing her, the owner said that she would never be more than five feet away from us. Boy, has that proven to be true! As I am typing this, she is just on the other side of the coffee table, snoring away!
So faithful. Always happy to see us. Am I like that to God? Arg! My heart shames me! I want it to be so!
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?
hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance…