By Gary Griffin
The lady used to be a tramp. Lady the dog, that is. Lady, our golden retriever, to be more precise.
She wasn’t always that way. There was a time when she stayed around, never far off, until the folks down the road got a dog they named Roscoe. Lady would take off with him, staying gone for days. Her coat became unkempt, her habits became more unladylike, and her discipline fell to non-existence.
She was, I suppose, happy, but we feared some farmer would shoot her for chasing his cows, or a hungry coyote would catch up to her on a dark country night, or she might have a run in with a rabid skunk.
We took Lady to the dog beauty shop, had her cleaned up, got her a brand new collar, and moved her inside the house, never to roam again, because we cared.
At first she hung out by the door in the front hallway, looking through the glass for squirrels or Roscoe. Before long that began to change.
Being indoors all the time brought Lady closer to us, and that nearness changed her attitude. Little by little, her interests moved from the things of the pasture to the things of people. She slowly became content to be inside with us and happy with her new life. The tramp had become a lady.
Surely, there is still a WILD CALL inside her, but her FIRST LOVE has changed. She prefers to be with her MASTER.
The new believer who has experienced conversion is at first at odds with those changes. He often finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings. But, as more time is spent with his Master, his perspective of life changes. Little by little, a new creation emerges.
Now, on evening walks, Lady has no desire to dart off into the underbrush or to run far ahead. Rather, she stays a few yards ahead, often looking back to see if we are following. She even ignores Roscoe when he comes to invite her for a day of roaming. Surely, there is still a wild call inside her, but her first love has changed. She prefers to be with her master.
I, too, have run the fields of life, and like Lady, I have spent many nights chasing after the moon. But those days are over for both of us. Lady has found her calling as a companion; as for me, lets say I have found my calling as well — a need to be nearer to the One who loves me most of all.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATION; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Gary Griffin resides with his wife, Mary Alice, and Lady. He has served as deacon, preacher, missionary, teacher, and custodian in his home church in Greenville, Texas.
This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Mature Living. Subscribe