Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The thanksGiving series: Maggie helps give thanks

Maggie the Wonder Dog has a past. I hate to bring it up, since we like for the past to stay very firmly in the past, but she had a little temptation today that threatened to drive her back to her evil ways. Maggie, dare I say it, was overcome by blood lust. Chicken blood lust to be more specific. When she was younger and much less wise, she noticed how fast a chicken would run when she chased it. One thing led to another, as these things will do, and before she knew what had happened, she found herself deeply involved in chicken-shaking. She would not only chase the chicken; she would catch it and shake it for all she was worth.
It is a sordid tale, but as time progressed, she found that shaking a chicken was not enough. If she grabbed the chicken by the neck, the chicken would squawk and fight like always, but the more she shook it, an unexpected thing would happen. The chicken would suddenly go limp. Maggie had broken its neck. Before she was done, she began to sink her teeth into the chicken and draw out its lifeblood.

It was not an easy thing to break Maggie of this blood lust. No amount of scolding helped. Even a shock collar was ineffective. The only thing that was effective was to restrain Maggie with a leash when the chickens were out. Restrained was exactly what Maggie was. She was not relieved of her blood lust. She was simply restrained. The penalty for chicken killing on this farm has always been severe, but somehow Maggie encountered the grace that gave her that restraint. 

Maggie is older and wiser now, although she is still a dog. Chasing chickens is part of her nature and it will likely always be a problem for her. As a result, the door to the chicken coop stays firmly closed when she is around. 

Today, she was at the barn during feeding time. She raced past the chicken coop and noticed a large tail feather. She sniffed all around it, nosed it a bit, and finally picked it up in her mouth. Lest someone notice, she took it to the pecan grove where she could enjoy her feather in private. She licked that feather until it was completely soaked. I expected her to go back to the chicken coop and stay there, waiting for her chance. Instead, she dropped the feather and moved it away from her, removing her temptation. As she moved away from her temptation, I thought about those days gone by when I cared little for the things of God and quite a bit for the ways of the world. Those things have been put away and it is the love of Christ that keeps them away. As I watched Maggie with her feather, I remembered how costly the ways of the world are and considered how much money I've saved by letting go of that old lifestyle and those old worldly ways.

Im not sure how to quantify it for the savings jar, but the saving jar would not be possible without this laying down of a life I didn't need in order to have the life I could not do without.  As you look at your savings and consider ways to save even more, don't lose sight of the incredible gift of freedom God has given. Make sure that, thought it may not fill your jar, the love of Christ infuses everything you do with the sweet aroma of freedom