Keep Away

Welcome back my friends, and thanks for joining me each week and taking an interest in our rather (seemingly) un-eventful lives as I share glimpses of what my brain processes every now and then. Believe it or not, it’s been quite busy in the Mitton household this week… we finally attempted to put up some Christmas decorations (although we still haven’t fully unloaded all the boxes yet!) and yes, I tried my hand at the citrus garlands (read about it here). We all have been working long hours and feeling the pinch of time. We also started our dog training this week. An adventure all its own. “Reese” is now seven months old and at that awkward teenage male stage — perfect to start training. *insert eye roll here*

Among the books and plans and online “games” to keep said dog entertained, mentally stimulated, and on his way to becoming the perfect dog, we learned that food is highly motivating. Typical for any teenage boy, right? But I digress… Training. We have been practicing our “sit stays” as well as something called avoiding the “keep aways”. A “keep away” is when your off leash pup easily responds to your voice and comes ever-so-obediently to just within arms reach – and then quickly dodges your grab – and eagerly runs in the opposite direction. All fun and games as we attempt a catch-me-if-you-can chase. Tongue a’ lollygagging all the while. Mothers of toddlers also understand this game… especially just before bath time or as you head out the door. Who needs shoes — or even clothes — am I right?

Okay, so you get the picture. Now let’s push it out a bit and begin to ponder with me… how many times have you played the “keep away” game? I’m just as guilty as my doggie. I tend to be an avoider. I struggle with the conflict or the confrontation, or simply just don’t want to give up my freedom for something that might be hard or challenging. I know I am not alone. Lots of us play keep away… not only with others, but often with God. Have you had that niggling of the Spirit one too many times to do something or say something, and you eagerly move towards the obedience just to turn away at the last minute? Even when our hearts are in the right place and we want to obey, our fears and misgivings often get in the way of the final commitments to get “locked in”. Those nasty little “what ifs” make us second guess, doubt and scare us out of what could be special treats and pleasant rewards.

Or perhaps you are a bit like Jonah and Nineveh. Jonah 4 lets us in on Jonah’s secret: He didn’t head off to Tarshish because he was afraid, he really was throwing a little pity party and wanted God to have the Ninevites pay for their wicked ways…not repent and be granted mercy! Maybe you “keep away” to watch from the sidelines as someone struggles or fails when you could be in there sharing God’s love and mercy. Are you out for revenge and eager to watch the wicked get their “just desserts”? Even when God calls you to love and compassion?

I’m here with you, my friend. “Reese” and I are both on the journey to learning. Both of us are in training to give in to the gentle tug on the leash and avoid the keep away game. And if you are here, then maybe you are on the journey with us. Or maybe you are just starting the journey and are getting “leashed up” shall we say in this whole following God thing. I encourage you to share! mittonmusings never claims to be perfect. It’s simply sharing the adventure as we walk along. And I am pretty sure the treats in God’s reward pouch are worth it. Until next week, my friends!

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