It is absurd to some, and slightly funny to others, but it is quite evident to all who know me that I love my little doxie, Neo. (See the photo of my pooch on this site.) She rules my house as the "best canine on the earth." I know, you think I am crazy. I am a 58 year-old minister-theologian-author and I put my dog and wife both in the picture I include here. So be it, what can I say? Those who know me are greeted by my little ten-pound canine when they arrive at our front door. She barks so loud that they wonder if she’s friendly, but her tail gives her away. She really likes everyone and has never snapped at a soul. She is truly filled with simple goodness, something I can’t say about many people I’ve known.
F. R. Maltby once said that "Jesus promised his disciples three things—that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble." That sums it up pretty well don’t you think? I reflected on these attributes today and thought about Neo.
I think these attributes are true of Christians (or at least they should be) as well as truly good dogs. Dogs are generally absurdly happy creatures. "But why?," asks Robert L. Short, author of The Gospel According to Peanuts and now the lovely fun book I just discovered, The Gospel According to Dogs. Well, says Short, "They only care about the things that really matter. What a marvelous freedom that gives them. For example, do you think they really care about who wins some silly game? Of course not! They just enjoy being with their friends." Ah, yes. They enjoy being with their friends. Neo loves to be with me like almost no one else I know, except for my incredibly beautiful and lovable wife. But even my wife gets tired of me at times and has issues with my bad behavior.
A billboard once had a sleeping dog on it that simply said: "Dogs rule!" Yes, they do rule because they are not the slaves of this world, but of their one master. (Anita and I disagree about who really rules Neo.) Are you the slave of but one master? When you are, and that Master rules the world that you live in, you will be absurdly happy and free, just like my little pal Neo.
I’ll say more about the other two attributes in a later post. For now ponder this one for just a moment, even if you don’t like dogs as much as I do. I will tell you this much, when I’ve had a bad day and someone else has told me that I stink, Neo doesn’t care one bit. She showers unconditional love on me every evening when she decides it is time to kiss her dad goodnight. I count her one of God’s truly good gifts.