Going “walkies” is the highlight of Molly’s day. We go out in all weathers. So far, we have walked in sunshine, in rain, in howling gales… but not in thunderstorms. I would rather risk Molly’s wrath than the fury from the skies. Thankfully, Molly is terrified of thunder!

However, the weather isn’t the problem – Molly is. Although she submits reluctantly to the harness and leash, on the inside she is pure self-will. She reminds me of the story of the toddler who insisted on standing up in his feeding chair. The more his mother demanded that he sit down, the more he resisted.  When she finally threatened him with dire consequences if he did not obey, he reluctantly sat down, but he retorted, “I still standin’ up inside!”

We set off at a cracking pace, Molly taking the lead by galloping ahead or pulling this way and that. The whole journey up the hill to our turning point is punctuated with stops to investigate this smell or that pole with the brakes fully on on all four paws. It’s the signal for me to stop and wait for her to complete her investigation. Sometimes, we even have to retrace our steps to check on something she inadvertently missed!

As for the people we pass by on the way, Molly would take a bite at each of them if given half a chance. Unfortunately, she does not take well to strangers, not matter what the colour of their skin. Without the control of the reins, we would both be in jail by now!

What should be an enjoyable ramble along a familiar path becomes a stop-start, go this way, pull that way, smell this , sample that trip, with me being the vigilant dog-owner doing my best to keep her away from all the hazards of the way. I envy those I occasionally pass who form an amiable dog-master partnership with the dog trotting obediently by his master’s side with only a light touch on the leash.

Again, how like Molly we are on our journey through life! Instead of walking with God in peaceful trust and submission, we run this way and that, pulling at the leash to follow our own way and expecting Him to go where we want to go. Adam began the whole process by believing the devil’s lie that he was capable of choosing what was good for him regardless of his loving Father’s warning.

Abraham began his journey with the Lord by being a “Molly”. His half-hearted obedience brought a great deal of trouble on his head. It took him a lifetime to learn to submit to the will of God without deviating and with perfect confidence in the God who knows best.

Only on our homeward way does Molly settle down and trot beside me, making at least part of the exercise pleasurable for both of us. The trouble is that, by the next afternoon she has forgotten what she learned the day before, and the process begins all over again.

I have been on this journey with the Lord for some 52 years and, as I look at the way I have come, I realise with regret that I could have saved myself a great deal of trouble had I trusted Him and not insisted on my own way. Only now, at the age of 77, am I convinced that submission to the “harness and leash” of God’s will is the safest and best way to go.

The peace that guards my heart and mind is the guarantee that, no matter what happens and even no matter how many mistakes I make, He works in all things for my good so that I am being conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29).

Molly doesn’t understand my language and, unfortunately, I don’t speak “dog” so, I guess, we will continue our battle of wills for a long time to come.

However, to us humans the Lord says,

“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalm 32:8-9 – NLT)

Luella Campbell

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