LEAD OR BE LED!
My family and I love dogs! We actually have two small Yorkies that have been a part of our family for several years now. Although we love our tiny “babies”, for some reason we’ve always wanted a big dog to add to the family (don’t ask me why). One night while my husband Danny was checking in on Facebook, he saw a post from a friend that was looking for a home for a 2 1/2 year old Golden Retriever. He called us all into the bedroom and asked, “how would you like to have a big dog?” I was thrilled because we’ve always wanted a big dog! All of us cheered, and long story short, Lacey (she’s a girl!) is now a part of the family. Having small dogs, I have learned to put up with the fact that they are not easily housebroken..almost impossible in fact! Of course I know that’s it our own fault because they don’t have hands that can open the door to go outside, so that means that they totally rely on us to do that for them. I’ve also learned to deal with the fact that they aren’t easy to take on a walk, and that our oldest dog (Sammy who is 12) refuses to obey me when I put him on a leash and he usually drags me wherever he wants to go. Before you say anything…yes I’m aware that this is also my fault! But it’s really no big deal because I’ve actually become accustomed to cleaning up after their messes and chasing them down the street.
Cue rude awakening!..
When we brought home our new 70 lb full grown Golden retriever (Lacey), I was not prepared for her size or her strength! She lunges at lizards and runs after squirrels, which is fine except that I’m flying through the air right behind her holding on to the leash for dear life! I figured out really quick that this was NOT going to work because I really need both of my arms to be in their sockets. Our little dogs are so small that it’s really no big deal to chase them or be dragged around by them. I wasted no time in rushing to the local pet store to find out what to do, and there it was! A training collar! I didn’t even know there was such a thing! I purchased the biggest one I could find, brought it home, put it on her and voila! It worked instantly! She followed my every command. I couldn’t believe it! She stopped dragging me and let me lead her. Wow! She just needed discipline!
Hmm..that makes me wonder. Am I lacking discipline too? Are there undisciplined areas in my life that, instead of gaining the knowledge on how to fix them, I choose to ignore them? I then asked myself, are there small issues that drag me down every day that I’ve become accustomed to? Are there small areas in my marriage or my ministry that need my attention that I’ve been overlooking because it’s just easier to clean up the mess? Or is it going to take some big giant issue to come my way, that I have no choice but to deal with because it’s too big to ignore? Why did it take me almost losing an arm to learn that there are ways to teach a dog to be a wonderful, gentle obedient companion?
Ok..that’s enough questions.
Here’s the thing..God wants to give us so much more, but in order to handle more, we need to learn to develop what he’s already given us. We can’t allow small issues, wrong attitudes, and unhealthy relationships to continue just because we don’t want to be bothered with cleaning up the messes. Until Lacey, we had lived our lives with 2 sweet (but disobedient) dogs because we never took the time to learn how to train them properly. My Yorkies are so small and adorable, that I’ve just been too laid back and allowed them to do whatever they’ve wanted to. With Lacey, I had no choice but to step up and train her before she pulled me into oncoming traffic (illustration for dramatic effect only). What’s amazing is that now my Yorkie’s behavior has actually improved because they have fallen in line behind Lacey!
By taking a backseat to what you’re supposed to take charge of, you miss out on what God has ultimately designed you for…Leadership! Don’t continue to ignore little problems just because they annoy you. Instead, give them your full attention before they turn into big problems that could potentially lead you off course. You CAN and you ARE designed to be a leader in your family, your marriage, your finances, and your ministry! Find the wisdom in God’s word and know that He’s given us authority over all things! Read a book on leadership or take a class on discipleship, but whatever you do, make a decision today to fix the undisciplined areas in your life. Eventually, what you don’t take authority over, will eventually take authority over you!