Thursday, April 9, 2009

Are you holding the leash or the harness?

I am a very visual learner. God over the years has used images and examples from my every day life to teach me things.

A little background for where I am going. I was "raised" in a Church of Christ, saved in a Southern Baptist Church, and have since attended both denominational and non-denominational churches. In all of these, I was "taught" about dying to self daily and being lead by the Spirit. Strange thing is everyone talked it, but no one taught it. So here is this 20 something new Christian that feels like she has "missed the spiritual boat" so to speak, because she was waiting at the airport for her flight to nowhere.

Well, my Father being my Father, saw this quandary and stepped in to show me what it meant to be led by the Spirit. This is something that I have not always applied to my life, but have never forgotten.

Early in my walk God gifted Rusty and I with two friends, Dorothy and Tess. Dorothy had lost her vision, as a result of juvenile diabetes, and Tess was her Golden Retriever guide dog slash best friend. If you saw one you saw the other. Dorothy refused to go anywhere that Tess did not go. Even if I was the one being Dorothy's "eyes", Tess was still with us, only as a tag along and not the guide.

During this time, I was questioning God about what in the world it meant to be led by the Spirit. I just could not seem to wrap my brain around this concept. I remember God very clearly speaking to me that being led by the Spirit was the exact thing that Dorothy and Tess were showing me every day. You see, Dorothy had been gifted with a guide that had been specifically trained to be her eyes. Tess's job was to guide Dorothy safely from point A to point B, to be on the look out for things that could cause Dorothy to stumble, and to keep Dorothy moving forward. The minute Dorothy put the harness on Tess, Tess knew that she was on the job, and she would not be distracted. When Dorothy grabbed hold of the harness, she had to place all her trust in Tess, that Tess would not lead Dorothy into danger, or just walk off and leave her. Sound familiar? When Dorothy and I would go shop, she would still take Tess, but would lean more on me, and even though Tess was in her harness, Dorothy would lead her around by the leash.

God showed me that I have to be like Dorothy, and be blind to the world around me, dying to self daily. Reach down and grab hold of the harness of the Holy Spirit, to trust that He will lead me, guide me, and protect me, as He has been specifically trained to do. Get so dependent on Him, that if you see one, you will see us both, or less of me and more of Him, and that functioning without Him is not an option. Or, I can continue to allow others to lead me where they will, as I am attempting to lead the Holy Spirit around on a leash.

Dorothy and Tess taught me lots of things during the course of our friendship, but the best thing...What it means to be led by the Spirit.

I have attempted to lead more than I have been led, but I have never forgotten this lesson, and God in His infinite wisdom, grace, and patience keeps taking the leash and placing my hand around the harness.

So are you holding the leash or the harness?

Dorothy, Tess I love you and miss you much. Dorothy, I can not wait to get home to heaven so that you can lead me around for a change.

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