April 10, 2008
See the Sure Way
by Meghan Kleppinger, Editor, Christianity.com
“Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.”
1 Chronicles 16:10-11
It has become apparent that my dog, Keeper, has a bit of a problem. Basically, she has quickly morphed into a butterball.
Of course, the worrier in me immediately began compiling a list of possible reasons for this seemingly-overnight weight gain.
It took everything thing in me to keep the promise I made with my vet to stay away from researching rare canine infirmities on the internet (seriously, last time I brought Keeper to the veterinarian, I had a list with ten possible diseases my dog could be suffering simply because her skin was dry… turns out it was just dry skin).
So, in a very Meghan-like fashion, this problem with Keeper began to consume my thoughts.
Was it her meds?
Was it some disease?
Could she have eaten something that was causing her to retain a lot of water?
The rescue place told me she was spayed, but maybe... um, better not go there.
Could it just be that she was fluffy from not having a haircut? I had her groomed, and with the fluff gone, she just looked like a clean and sleek butterball, instead of a furry one.
Minus the already-ruled-out fluffy hair theory and the possible pregnancy, the weight gain honestly could be due to any of these previously mentioned things.
When I stopped to breath and actually think this thing through for a moment, I realized that yes, the extra pounds could be a result of an illness, or it could be from her epilepsy meds, but I admitted to myself that I really should start my investigation by looking at the typical and less serious causes for weight gain.
For example, one of those obvious and frequently overlooked causes is... oh yes, me.
Apparently when you feed your dog too much she will gain weight.
Don’t we do that all of the time? I mean when something goes wrong in our lives, we look for the culprit, but rarely do we start by looking at ourselves as being the problem.
If we can label something that is amiss in our lives as an illness or better yet, if we can find someone else to blame, don’t we? Why call it sin, when we can get a doctor to write a prescription or tell us an addiction isn’t our fault?
I’m not saying mental illnesses, addictive tendencies, and bad people don't exist. They do. and I'm a firm believer in outside intervention and treatment for them. Unfortunately, I also think too often we swap words like “addiction,” “sin,” and “lack of discipline” for less offensive terms like “illness” and “disorder.”
Back to Keeper, it’s possible that it could be a medical concern that has caused the weight gain (and don’t worry… I’m still looking into it).
But what if it’s not? Wouldn’t it be wrong and irresponsible to medicate my dog for a problem that doesn’t exist? I don’t want to put a band-aid over something that can be easily remedied.
I’ll never forget something the grandfather in the movie Misty told his grandchildren about gentling horses. He told them that there is the quick way and then there is the sure way to do it. The same is true when we seek solutions to the troubles in our lives.
Many times, we think the quick way – medication, the blame game, etc. – is the easy way to solve a problem. The truth is, if the problem is with us, we’re only masking the issue.
We need to admit the problem is with ourselves and then seek the sure way. Jesus is the sure way and He is much better than any human-made band-aid we use to cover our sin issues.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Consider this – "God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them." C.S. Lewis