• Joshua D McVey

A Dog a man and the sabbath

From the New Mexico Tourism Department

I saw a photo of a dog and a man sitting on a bench. There were little thought bubbles above their heads. The man's was full of travel plans, work, grocery list, and his next meal. The dog's thought bubble contained an image of he and the man sitting together on the bench watching the sun set. The caption said, "This is why your dog is happier than you."

I immediately thought, "No it's because the dog doesn't have to pay bills, or wonder where his next meal is coming from, or if he will obtain his goals." I don't know if dogs have goals, well they might, and it may have to do with how many places they can pee and the size of their bladder.

The point is, the dog was enjoying the moment while the man was missing it, thinking about the next moment.

There is a story of Jesus and His disciples walking through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry so they were picking the heads of grain and eating them. The Pharisees saw this a pointed out to Jesus that it was unlawful on the sabbath (Matthew 12).

Jesus makes reference to King David breaking the law to feed himself and his companions. In Matthew's account Jesus goes further to point out the priests in the temple break the Sabbath, but are found innocent according to the law (Matthew 12:5).

But my favorite part of this story is when He says, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27)."

First, the teachings of Jesus, the disciples, scripture, and the law is meant to bless and protect us. It's not meant to be a burden. It's not designed to hinder. Jesus said to the Pharisees, " Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering (Luke 11:52)."

Today, we should be careful not to be guilty of the same thing. Are we allowing the Spirit to work, or are we trying to control the outcome? The wisdom of the Spirit is available to all. You and I don't have the market cornered.

Do you remember when selling bottled water was a novelty? People laughed, "Why buy something you can get for free?" It reminds me of the different brands of Christianity, this theology or that interpretation. Is it really that complicated?

"For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us (1 Corinthians 2:12)."

Where is our faith if we try to control? Don't we believe the Holy Spirit has the ability to do a work in us? Aren't we able to develop into maturity through faith by the power of the Holy Spirit?

"We need to keep people safe." Is the argument. Protect them from temptation. That sounds a lot like the Pharisees.

God is not safe.

He is powerful and will accomplish his will in us. "For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)." The bride of Christ will be presented to the bridegroom. With or without your wick burning (Matthew 25:7).

Finally, why do you worry? "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life (Luke 12:25)?" We must learn to rely on the Spirit. Allow God to work through the Spirit in our lives and the lives of others. Set aside control and judgement, enjoy the moment.

The dog was enjoying the moment, and who he was sharing it with. Relax, God rested after creating the world, you need to rest as well. The Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath. That law was meant to lighten the load, rejuvenate, replenish. The natural order of creation calls for rest.

When we are able to find joy in the little things, the little victories, our small triumphs, or just the ability to breath; we will find contentment and hope.

The sun is setting, take a moment to rest.

In His service and yours,


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