I have a 16ft. retractable leash for Milo and I use a harness, because if I just use his collar he would choke himself pretty badly. When we first start out on our walk, Milo does a running charge ahead and proceeds to take the entire line and get jolted back. On one occasion he’s even fallen right on his back, which was not pleasant to see. He knows that he’s on the leash, as he sits very nicely as I put his harness on and then attach the leash, but yet he still does the same thing each time, and each time my arm gets yanked as well.
It’s constantly this way for more than half of our walk… he pulls and pulls and if he stops for a moment and I catch up, then he goes running again. Given the chance to get off the leash, he would be gone, running to who knows where and getting into all sorts of trouble even though he knows that home is where he is fed, sheltered, cared for and loved. He runs and as I call for him he looks back at me and runs further away. This unfortunately has happened a couple of times, so I know the painful truth.
On the second half of our walk Milo has changed, he’s slowed down quite a bit and stays close to me. So close that he’s only a couple of feet away. His energy level has dropped and he’s timid and jumpy when approaching objects to check out.
I pray on my walks with Milo and on this particular morning God showed me some insight that I had never thought about before. It’s amazing how perspective can change everything. God revealed that we are a lot like Milo. We push, pull and stretch our limits, hearing God but doing our own thing and not truly listening to Him. We want to run and can’t stand the confinement that the leash brings, even though it’s for our own good and safety. Perspective would let us see it as protection instead of confinement… true love. God loves us enough to give us the freedom to run, but he also loves us enough to pull us back and reign us in.
After we’ve pushed, pulled and ran when life has beat down on us, we’re tired, drained and overcome by the pressures and problems this world brings. It’s these times that we realize where we need to be. Not far at all from the one who has all of the answers… at the feet of Jesus. In Him we find the comfort, care and protection that we’re truly seeking.
So, it’s time that we learn to stop pulling and run into Jesus’ loving arms, because there is no better place to be.