Before Jimmy and I married I was a cat person. However, my boys have always loved dogs. Richard was the worst. I don’t know how he managed but it seemed every stray dog in the county showed up on our door step. When he was about 13 we were in a "dog free" period and he had just started the Junior Firefighter program at the local volunteer station. Jake was almost three and I decided to check out the local shelter to see if I could find a Dalmatian. Lucky me…they had one that was house broken and did a few tricks.
As our first house pet, "Backdraft" quickly became part of the family. While he was intended to be a surprise for Richard the dog had other ideas and he and Jake became fast friends. When Jake started school the dog would watch from the front window while "his boy" got on the bus. As it slowly rolled out of sight, Backdraft would head to the bedroom to sleep and watch TV. You would think the dog could tell time! At 3:00 every afternoon he would meander over to the window, poke his head through the curtains and wait - sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, but never lying down.
Before the bus was even in sight the dog would jump up and start wagging his tail. I mean, really wagging his tail. As the bus drew closer he would run to the kitchen door, back to the window and to the door again until Jake burst through and dog and boy were reunited. There were slurps from the dog, pats from Jake, giggles and wiggles, and off they would go. I know from that daily routine why people say, "Dog is man’s best friend."
Backdraft died years ago and to this day Jake misses his buddy. For many months he literally mourned the loss of ’the only dog he will ever love.’ It’s kind of odd, I think about that dog and the way he loved his boy many times. Most often as I am getting ready for church - of all places. Do I wait patiently enough on the Lord, like that dog waited every day for the big yellow bus to pull up and deposit the love of his life at the end of the long driveway? Am I as excited to see the Lord as I step in the front doors of the sanctuary as that dog was when his little boy walked in the kitchen door? After all, isn’t that the way it should be? We are going to a place where we commune with our Lord. Shouldn’t we be excited? Shouldn’t we be happy? Shouldn’t we look forward to it all week?
I ask you, just as I ask myself, to examine why you go to church. Is it for the people, the music, the programs, the Pastor? Is it because that’s what good people do? Or…are you going because it is there you see the love of your life?