Like many of us, I have a dog. I have two dogs, in fact. One is getting along in age and is a geriatric companion dog – happy enough, loyal, slow, and a bit of a fixture on the front lawn.
The second is less than a year old and comes from a respected line of serious hunting dogs – a pointing dog by design. His official breed name is Korthals Griffon, and they’ve been around for just shy of 150 years. They are a scruffy, wiry-haired breed, purpose-made to seek, find, pursue, and retrieve game in the most adverse conditions. To the untrained eye, he is equal part hipster, equal part ruffian – complete with viking beard.
Rough Around The Edges
So, where am I going with this?
I’m glad we are all made with different talents, gifts, and testimonies. This thought came to mind this past weekend, as I attended a field training event for pointing dogs. There was a broad array of dogs present, arriving from all parts of Eastern Ontario and Quebec. Out of 30 or so dogs, there were only two griffons.
In casual conversation, a new acquaintance simply asked, “So why a griffon?” There was a pregnant pause. I realized at that moment that I didn’t have a pre-formulated answer to that basic question.
Being a guy, I wanted to think on my feet and provide a solid, straightforward answer. The response that I offered in that brief moment of reflection was both raw and authentic. I replied, “Because I wanted a dog that is, at its core, a little rough around the edges, but designed for a specific purpose… [and that] at the end of the day I suppose I wanted a dog that was – like me.”
Will he require training? Certainly. He has and will continue to. Will I be frustrated at times, and other times joyful? Yes, that’s a virtual guarantee. Will I need the advice and time of others who have walked this path (or trail) before? Most definitely.
We Are In Training
Herein I am reminded of the need for these crucial relationships – connections to those who have learned how to achieve desirable results afield. The same is true in our Christian walk, whether we are new to the faith or old sage believers. The fact is – we all started somewhere.
Regardless of your past wins or follies, or financial situation, or namesake, or personal connections, or present health circumstance, we are all rough material for kingdom use
Aren’t you glad that God’s patience, grace and understanding is for us all? Regardless of your past wins or follies, or financial situation, or namesake, or personal connections, or present health circumstance, we are all rough material for kingdom use. Let that sink in. There’s real power in that thought.
Paul, in his letter to the Philippian church, encourages, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-15
It’s seldom easy. Nothing worthwhile is. There will be straining and false-starts in my field preparations, as there will be straining and slipping and resurgence in my Christian walk. I may lose focus or not heed direction one-hundred per-cent of the time. I will need to be put back on course. I, in turn, may need to help pull someone else up when they fall.
That sounds a great deal like my griffon pointer. I’m glad my Maker saw the raw potential in me, too.