Cooper has an obsession...squirrels. His days are spent gazing out the window, watching the squirrels scrounge for seed underneath the bird feeders. When he finally is released to go out, he sprints towards them. As well feed and portly as they are, they are still faster than he is and quickly scamper up the huge maple nearby.
There they sit, chattering away. Cooper responds by barking and I often wonder if they understand each other or am I witnessing two creatures shouting at each other in two different languages. Eventually the barking ceases and is replaced by his steely gaze.
Virtually nothing can break his concentration and focus on the squirrels in the tree. In vain I call him. It is as if he is deaf. He seems unaffected by the coldness of the snow that surround his feet. My only recourse is to go out after him with a leash in hand. Once he sees me (and the leash) he realizes the gig is up and reluctantly comes. It as if he knows that I will clip the leash to his collar and make him come with me. I swear I see him hang his head when sees I am serious about his obedience.
What captures our attention at the cost of everything else? What keeps us from hearing the still, small voice of God in our own lives? What do we long for and gaze after at the cost of hearing the master call our name? What stops us from being obedient?
The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.”
grace and peace....