Running Free

Many of you know that I have a dog.  A beautiful Irish Water Spaniel named Neely that we inherited from my parents because she was a hunting school dropout.  This little birddog has absolutely no interest in birds.

I’m definitely NOT what you would call a dog person.  I like them okay, but I’m not the kind of girl who runs up to dogs and pets them and lets them lick me.  I tend to take more of a “Tiger Mom” approach that dogs should be seen and not heard, yet somehow, little Neely wiggled her way into my heart and now we’re besties.

Several times, I’m embarrassed to admit, when I leave town and she sees my suitcase, I actually shed tears when I see her try to follow me to the car.  When we’ve been gone a majority of the day, I let her sleep in our room so she won’t be lonely, and I often feed her people food.  What can I say, I’m a goner.

At our “summer home” here in Minnesota, right across the street is a beautiful lake with a great path for walking and running.  Each morning, Neely and I set off on a new adventure, but the path is narrow and Neely has to be leashed.  Her latest discovery up here has been the rabbits.   Each time she sees one, she goes crazy.  Unlike the squirrels she seeks out in Virginia, a rabbit she could actually catch.  She tries to break away from me, but each time is restrained by the leash, unable to catch them.

Watching this has started to make my heart hurt, because I don’t like seeing Neely being held back from what she was designed to do.  She was made to run, explore, chase rabbits and I hate seeing her bound by our silly leash.

My favorite times with Neely are when we’re in the mountains, the beach, or even UVa’s lawn, where there are no restrictions and she can run free, track scents, and chase squirrels to her heart’s content, and be the dog she was created to be.

Similarly, each one of us was made with a unique and distinct purpose, but often, we allow certain things to hold us back and hinder us from living the life we were created for–fear, laziness, busyness, insecurities, mindless distractions, heartache, rejection, the opinions of others, not knowing where to start–the list could go on and on…what’s holding you back?  What has you by a leash?

Unlike my dog who’s not able to always be as free as she would like, in Christ, We. Are. Free.  We have each been created by God to do good works that He has prepared for us.  Yes, we still have boundaries and boundaries are a good thing, but if God has put a dream, a vision, or a purpose on your heart, don’t let the leashes of life hold you back.  Go for it.  Stay close to God, run free, and make it happen!

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:32   
 For we are God’s workmanship, B)’>in Christ Jesus to do good works,