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Photo Credit: His image photography

WestenTheDog

 

An Interesting Sermon

This past week, I heard an amazing sermon in the most unlikely of places–a bathroom. Oh, but not just any bathroom–a public bathroom–while I was cleaning it!

Yes, my first day volunteering to clean the potties at our church was quite the experience. I spent the better part of an hour following around a seasoned veteran who was teaching me the ropes. I expected to learn a thing or two about the cleaning process, but I was not expecting a sermon while stocking T.P. and emptying the “goody bags” in the lady’s stalls.

The woman I was helping knew everyone in the building, and everyone knew her. We had to stop frequently because people wanted to say, “Hi,” or give her a hug. She was loved, because she loved. I had barely learned her name when I internally declared, “I want to be like her!”

As we wiped down the sinks and stocked paper towels, she shared her life story. She told me about the awesome things God had done in her life, but one thing in particular stuck with me. I was reminded of her words again while playing with my dog, Westen.

 

A Lesson From a Dog

Westen loves to play fetch. For him, there is nothing better than scratching up our hardwood floors as he slides through the kitchen, wide-eyed, chasing after a tennis ball. But Westen is not keen on giving up the ball after he retrieves it. He will place the ball in my hand while still maintaining his slobbery grip on the darn thing. Every time I tell him, “Dude, I can’t throw it if you don’t give it to me.”

My new volunteering friend shared with me a similar message. She said someone once told her that God won’t put His hands on anything you are still holding onto. When we “give things over to God,” He takes them, but He can’t do anything with our dreams or problems if we keep trying to take them back. As soon as we decide to put our hands on the very thing we released, God removes His hands.

I’ve seen this play out in my journey. If I rest in God’s presence and allow Him to lead, I can see Him working in my life, but as soon as I start making plans and strategizing for my gain, God lifts up His hands and takes a step back. Like my dog, I wonder, will I ever learn?

Maybe you’re wondering the same thing. I think we will learn. Someday. We just need to give God the chance to prove that life is so much better when we allow Him to “play” with us rather than hoarding our dreams to ourselves.

Maybe God is saying to all of us, “Just let me have the ball. I can’t send it soaring if you don’t hand it over.”

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