I was thinking as we went on our late afternoon walk around the neighborhood yesterday about how much our dog has mellowed over the years… not that she hasn’t always been a mellow dog mind you! But she had always been a runner. In fact I’m sure that’s how she came to be in the shelter where my wife saw her some eleven years ago. The dog’s information sheet simply stated that she was a “stray.” The longer we had her, the more we came to realize that Piper had made a good choice except for one little thing… the dog would bolt out the front door and take off running at the slightest opportunity!
This downside led to many exciting experiences in our old neighborhood in western Santa Rosa, Oklahoma and then in eastern Santa Rosa when we first returned after Bible School. Over the last couple of years though, she seems to be content to simply greet us at the front door and patiently wait for us to come in or go out! But like I said, other than that she’s always been a pretty mellow pooch. After her oral surgery a few weeks ago her Vet had given us some pain killers for her and mentioned to be careful when attempting to put the pills in her mouth, as most dogs don’t like you touching their mouths even without the soreness of the surgery. Well, I assured her that Mandie didn’t mind and you know, the old girl almost opened her mouth for me during those first few days following her stay at the Vet.
As we walked yesterday I thought of all this but had to laugh as there is one negative behavior that has seemed to increase as she has gotten older. When we go for a walk and she catches a scent of something on the ground she stiffens up, digs her paws in and refuses to move until she’s done checking it out! Her final act of resistance is to simply lie down while she sniffs around her. At that point she will not be called off for anything unless I grab onto her shoulder harness and physically pull her up to her feet! She is fully INTENT on finishing her investigation on the particular scent that has caught her attention.
I am beginning to think that this is similar to Papa God’s INTENTIONS for you and me! In reading the first twelve verses of Ephesians One, I have come to realize that there is a lot of talk of God’s plans, purposes and INTENTIONS for Believers. And it is pretty clear that all of those plans, purposes and INTENTIONS are to be fulfilled in and through our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Webster’s original 1828 dictionary of the American English language says that “Intention is when the mind, with great earnestness and of choice fixes its view on any idea (or person of interest), considers it on every side, and will not be called off by the ordinary solicitation of the ideas.” (Parenthesis mine) That definition sounds a lot like our dog when she catches a scent doesn’t it? And I believe it is the same dogged determination that Papa God has about the completion of the plans, purposes and INTENTIONS that He has for us!
In preparation for a follow up meeting with our new financial advisor out here, I had to fill out what is called a “Retirement Worksheet.” When I finally sat down to fill out the sheet, I slowly came to realize that I have not really thought that much about our retirement. Six years ago we were set to return to California after Bible School, move up north to a smaller city a few hours away and start a church. Then we got the detailed report of what was going on with my wife’s health and suddenly all of our plans went up in smoke!
As I stared at that worksheet and began to interact with the Lord concerning what was going on in my mind, I began to see the error of my ways. I had almost come to the place where I dejectedly accepted the lie that God’s plans for us must have changed due to the current upheaval in our lives. Then I understood… Yes, mountains have a risen before us, but God’s original plans for ministry for us are STILL the same! He has fixed His view upon us and will not be called off by the ordinary solicitation of the idea that we can’t complete that which He has planned, purposed and INTENDED for us to do in this life!
It may be postponed a bit until we walk THROUGH this valley of the SHADOW of death (Psalm 23:4), but His timing is perfect and His plan, purpose and INTENT stays constant and consistent.
Well I got to tell you… That revelation put a whole new hop in my step of faith! It encouraged me to smile, take a deep breath, stop feeling sorry for myself and grab unto God’s Word of life with a new fervor, excitement and EXPECTATION! If God hasn’t changed His plans, purposes and INTENTIONS for me… than why should I?
Are or have any of you gone through a similar experience? Maybe it is time to reconvene with your heavenly Father and get back in step with His original plans, purposes and INTENTIONS for your life… Have a good day. Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s plans, purposes and INTENTIONS am I expecting to get back to today?”