My boy wiener dog loves my Mama’s dog. Her name is Grace, the dog not my Mama. Grace is a rather portly elder chiweenie. She is a good-for-a-retired-person dog. She likes naps and waking up early. She enjoys walks in the neighborhood and rides to the coffee shop. She has a tendency toward being lazy, but when she’s around her younger cohorts she gets a burst of energy and hops around like a bunny. We always laugh when she gets so excited when she visits my house. Her favorite playmate is my boy wiener.
He isn’t the smartest dog. We’ve decided as a family he is either the smartest or the dumbest dog ever. He makes us laugh with his antics. He is solid black except for a heart shaped white patch in his chest. He is playful and as I said, he adores Grace. He absolutely adores her and when she does that bunny-hop thing he gets exceptionally excited. They’ve visited and played together regularly. However, when this quarantine started, those play dates and visits were halted. To his dismay Grace has not been to visit in quite some time.
However, our behind neighbors happen to have a chiweenie as well. She is blonde and a tad younger and slimmer than Grace. There is a fair amount of space that separates my boy pup and the neighbor pup, he can’t see her very clearly but her bark sounds just like Grace. We have named her “Fake Grace.” Fake Grace will bark and my boy pup goes bonkers, he runs the fence and barks back. When Fake Grace is not outside my boy pup will stare longingly out the window in the direction of Fake Grace’s yard. When she finally emerges into the yard my Boy Pup can hardly contain himself. He barks himself silly, In rapid fire succession I imagine if I could understand dog it would sound a little something like this,
“Grace! Grace! GRACE! Come here, come over here and play! What are you doing back there Grace?”
Fake Grace does not respond. My Boy Pup persists.
“Grace!! Why did your Mama put you back there? You’re supposed to be over here!”
Fake Grace remains silent, she carries on with her business, hardly acknowledging the pest behind her home.
“Grace! I’m going to come over to that yard and get you!”
Fake Grace continues to saunter around her yard.
The Boy Pup, desperate for fake Grace’s attention, wiggles himself free of the confines of my backyard and sets out to visit Fake Grace. Usually he gets turned around, stuck, gets himself into any number of awkward situations trying to make his way to Fake Grace. He has had to be rescued countless times as he makes an attempt to reach the counterfeit. As I rescue my Boy Pup, I scold him. He has gotten himself into a mess trying to make it to Fake Grace.
It was just such an experience when I realized I am much like my Boy Pup. I spend wasted hours striving for a Fake Grace when the real Grace is where I should be investing my time and energy. Oftentimes the things of life have the appearance of godliness but when I get right down to it those things become my sole focus. I strive to impress the Fake Grace decoy all the while neglecting Christ, the very One on whom I should be focused. It has even been so bad that there have been occasions when in my attempts to get the attention of the Fake Grace, I get myself into such predicaments that I am incapable of freeing myself from. Thankfully God is a long-suffering, patient God. He rescues me from my entrapment, loves on me, and reminds me that Christ alone should be my focus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.