Just about every time I open the screen door leading out to the deck and the backyard beyond, our dog Fiver makes a mad dash to the fence with our neighbors yard facing east and checks to see if the dog a couple of houses over is out and about. Then he goes to the front fence looks around, makes a 180 degree turn and runs to the back of the yard, follows the fence line all along the back, the east side of our property, the other side of the house facing the street and then makes a beeline back to his original starting point. On some days like yesterday, he’ll repeat the process before zeroing on specific areas of the yard to investigate.
I am not always sure what he is looking for. It could be the scent of the rabbits that come under the fence from the wooded areas that surround two sides of the lot. It might be the squirrels that seem to be everywhere lately, or the various birds, lizards, the occasional snake and the plentitude of flying insects of varying shapes, sizes and accompanying noises!. Yesterday afternoon he broke from his normal routine and circled the shed in the far corner of the yard three times before heading up the fence line! I am kind of interested at what I might find in the shed today when I go to pull out the mower!
My point with Fiver is that he is always excitedly looking for new adventures whenever he goes outside. You can see it in his eyes as he looks over the whole area with a heart of discovery! Then if I should grab one of his many toys out in the yard and press the enclosed squeaker, he’ll go absolutely bonkers and make a mad, flying run and leap across the yard to where I am standing! He absolutely LOVES having interactions with me and his beloved ball toys!
In this sense, Fiver has much in common with the writer who penned Proverbs 4:20-22 when he declared: “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” (KJV)
When the pooch goes out back he becomes very attentive to the sights and sounds around him… and has to investigate every noise, every sound and every smell that comes to his senses. You can just see it as his big floppy ears might stand straight up, or fold back or sit somewhere in between as he reacts to what’s happening around him. I think one could also say that all the activity that he is investigating brings life into his very being!
According to our scripture, this is also the way that you and I should react to the Word of God! Now, don’t misunderstand me here… I am not implying that we need to go bursting outside in our yards and/or neighborhoods and run all around… although, I do enjoy running after the dog as I toss him his ball each day… but what I am directly implying that we should have that same excitement, zeal and sense of discovery every time we open up the pages of our Bibles! I find that I really look forward to getting into my Bible study each morning. Like Fiver, I love to have interactions with my heavenly Father and can’t imagine ever skipping a day no matter how busy my schedule might be.
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries states that the word translated “attend” literally means, again like Fiver’s reactions, “to prick up the ears.” The Greek translation of the Hebrew word is defined as: “to apply one’s self to, attach one’s self to, hold or cleave to a person or a thing, to be given or addicted to.” (Thayer’s) I think if Piper and I were honest, we would have to confess that we are, in a good sense, “addicted” to the Word of God… and have been for the great majority of our 47 years together!
I was thinking about this over the weekend and telling my wife that I can’t hardly think of any major (and most minor) decisions that we made without going to the Word and prayer first. When first faced with the diagnosis of dementia in Piper, I clearly remember taking her hand at home and praying over her, declaring God’s will as stated for her healing in the Word of God. There was no other way to go as far as we were… and still are concerned! Yes I have thoroughly researched the disease and we have stayed on the cutting edge with medications and natural remedies that have proper research to support their claims, but our first and foremost trust has always been in the Lord and His Word.
The Message Bible tells us to: “Listen well to my (God’s) word; tune your ears to my voice.” I think that this paraphrase perfectly describes the process we have followed in every adventure – both good and bad – that we have gone through over the years. As I related, first we go to the Lord through His Word and prayer, and then we tune our spiritual ears into God’s frequency… and never move the dial! Every time we get input from other people we always tend to immediately filter their words through what God has spoken to us in His Word and within our hearts. And like I keep saying, as far as we are concerned, His voice ALWAYS has the final say!
Have you ever considered whose voice has the final say in your life, in the various decisions that you are faced with each and every day? Hummmm…. Something to consider, wouldn’t you say?
Have a great new week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Who’s VOICE am I expecting to tune into when the decisions of life come about?”