I was taking our new dog for a walk. He saw something and bolted fast enough that I lost hold of the leash. I called, but he was gone.
The previous owner of this Cairn Terrier had said, “Watch him, he’s a ‘Toto’ dog, like out of The Wizard of Oz, and you remember Dorothy don’t you? Chasing her dog?” I must have muted the warning bells, because as I was walking out the door she threw in a barking shock-collar and said in a sweet southern accent, “And you might need this too honey.”
Now I found myself driving in the car with my daughter looking for this pooch. After a long search, I got mad and threw one of the homemade dog-biscuits my daughter had made out the window and said, “Fine! If that stupid dog doesn’t want to be at our house, serves him right! I’m done looking.”
Crocodile tears rolled off my daughter’s cheeks. I said, “Okay, okay, we’ll take one more trip.”
Low and behold, right where I’d thrown that biscuit was our dog. Then it occurred to me: My daughter adopted this dog and I hadn’t yet. To me, it’s just a dog; to my daughter it’s family. I needed to adopt him too if this was going to work.
We have a flesh-nature part of us that will never want to obey God’s law until we are made new (1 Corinthians 15:52). You can even use a shock-collar on yourself, but it won’t change it. The good news is that God adopted you by making peace with your nature so he could love you permanently. This love frees us to repent and run to God when we mess up instead of run away from him.