A few weeks ago Carrie and I decided to take our dogs to the dog run at White Oak Park. If you have never been, you should go and see it sometime. They have taken a very large field and enclosed it with a 5 ½ ft chain link fence. You can let your dogs off-leash and they can run around as much as they want. We had been there many times before, but this time was different.
We noticed Lulu running alongside the fence and jumping, as if to gage how high the fence was. A minute later, I had turned my back and she had jumped clear over that fence. The people all around us were shocked, they had never seen a dog jump that high before (you can see why they are called “springers”).
I grabbed the leash from Carrie, hopped the fence myself, and began to chase after her. I finally picked her up about 300 yards away. Thankfully she had gone to meet another dog, and that dog's master grabbed Lulu's collar until I could catch up.
So why did she jump and run? Because it is in her nature to do so. It very much reminds me of us as God's children and our tendency towards sin (otherwise known as original sin). No matter how much we try, we still find ourselves sinning and running away from God. It is a constant struggle for each one of us. And just as we think we have sin put away forever, the Holy Spirit convicts us again and shows us more ways that we are falling short.
The grace of the matter, however, is that we have a father who will always chase after us, and will always bring us back to the fold. Just like I jumped that fence and ran after Lulu.
It brings to mind the third verse of a hymn by Henry Francis Lyte. “Father-like he tends and spares us; well our feeble frame he knows; in his hand he gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes. Alleluia, Alleluia, widely yet his mercy flows.”