I have often compared the difference between our Creator and a human as the difference between a human and their “best friend” the dog. A dog is often considered to be “one of the family”. This incredible creature can make the lonely feel loved and a family somehow complete. What are the qualities one looks for in a dog? Love and loyalty? Friendship and faithfulness? Perhaps these are the qualities that our Heavenly Father looks for in us as well.
I have only owned (as the Creator owns us) one dog in my life so far, and she was very special. From the very beginning I never put a leash on her, rather I trained her to walk by my side without one. (I saw in my youth dogs that always walked on leashes and had fenced in back yards, yet I always felt sorry for them . . . both the dog and the owner. When the animal would get off the leash or see an open door, it was good-by for hours, as they must have felt trapped in the relationship, their newfound freedom feeling to them like an escape from custody.)
When I owned my beloved pet, I would often walk to the local grocery store, where my faithful dog would wait outside by the door, not tied up, while I went in to shop. If I were inside, out of sight, for five minutes or five hours, she was always there waiting for me when I came out. She trusted and knew, though she could not immediately sense my presence while I was inside the store, that I would, indeed, soon return.
Our Heavenly Father too wishes for us to walk by His side without a leash, at the same time giving us free reign to deliberately leave or distractingly wander away if we are so inclined. Will we wait five days as easily as five years for an answer to prayer and still be faithful, even though we do not immediately sense the presence of our Creator?
An obedient and grateful dog does not wish to run away, rather they are happiest by their owner’s side and appreciative of the freedom allowed them. Such an animal would never, ever consider leaving their owner/master. Is the Creator our owner . . . and master?
Many atheists refute a Creator because their minds (nor can anyone’s) comprehend an Eternal Being. Because they can not comprehend this concept, they arrogantly presume that it, therefore, must not be true. In this, there is another good g-o-d to d-o-g comparison.
My dog loved to go for rides in the car. She had no idea where we were going and I’m sure she didn’t care, as to her everything and everywhere was a new adventure! I’m sure she knew that the automobile was an inanimate object, just as she knew an insect was alive yet a chair was not. She probably even knew that I directed the direction and destiny of the car. (Do we know this about our Heavenly Father’s control over our lives? . . . See Psalm 139.) Yet, if I were to lift the hood and meticulously explain to my dog the components of the engine, she, of course, would not, and could not, ever comprehend what I was trying to explain to her. If I spent her entire life trying to explain just a “simple” spark-plug, she would still not comprehend it, even to the slightest degree.
Is this because the car has no design and no creator, or is it because the way that she is, with her finite abilities, she is inhibited from comprehending the design and creator? In the same way as a dog does not have the faculties to understand an automobile engine (in fact I suspect that she, at some level, presumed the car “just happened”), so too a human mind’s finite faculties do not exist in such a way that comprehending an Eternal Being is possible, just as, no matter how hard we might try, could we ever run a one minute mile.
As with a dog’s lack of comprehension of a car’s design and creator, does the inability to understand something make the truth invalid?
When I first thought about the Messiah’s individual sacrifice being worthy of one hundred billion human souls, I thought that the trade was not equitable at all. When it was brought to my attention that, because He made us, all of us together are less valuable than He, I finally got it. Just as if I built one hundred billion human-like robots, my life would still be greater than all of them put together, the Messiah’s single sacrifice is sufficient to rescue any and all of His creation simply because He made all of us.
In our case, we are not robots. We can praise our Creator or we can curse Him. We can be loving and faithful, or we can be destructive and disloyal.
When I think about my dog, and whether or not she ever behaved “evil”, I can only say that she occasionally, though rarely, got “in trouble”. She ate bread off of the counter top when I wasn’t looking, she crossed the street without permission to excitedly greet someone new she just saw, she lazily pooped a few times on the floor when she should have already been potty-trained . . .Yet was she ever “evil”? . . . The answer is a resounding no.
I often prayed to have half of her integrity, half of her unconditional love, and half of her nobility. What an incredible man I would then be! Why, I sometimes wondered, could I not be as good as she? Is there some sort of conspiracy?
My beautiful dog was not a robot. She had free will just as I do. She could have bitten me, she just chose not to. She could have run away, she just chose not to. She could have given her first affection to another, she just chose not to . . . Why?
It was as if, even though she had free will as a living being and was not a machine, that she existed in such a way that she was truly perfect. The Creator is perfect and His Son calls us to be perfect as well. (Matthew 5:48) Would He ask us to do something if it were impossible?
Then next question is, would I die for my dog?
No, I would not.
I loved her with all my heart, cried when she died, and will name my next dog after her . . . yet it would be stupid of me to die for her . . . she was, after all, just a dog.
I knew of people who paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to extend the life of their pet a year or two, and I knew, as much as I loved her, I could not spend that kind of money on a dog with so many starving people in the world. My love for her had a financial limit of about $300. I knew I could always buy another dog.
If I am right, and the difference between The Creator and a human is the same as the difference between a human and a dog, then we really have to more deeply contemplate the love our Creator and Messiah has for us, a lowly pet. They have no financial limit for us. They are willing to die for us.
The Scriptures say that when we are “saved” (turning from loyalty to sin to loyalty to the Creator, who asks us to repent of sin) we are adopted into the Heavenly Family. That is like putting your pet in your will.
“How great is the love that The Father has lavished
that we should be called His children” . . . and not
1st John 3:1
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