My dog hates baths like celebrities hate silence. This is unfortunate, on several levels. First of all, she is a Basset Hound, which renders her naturally odorous and in frequent need of aromatic assistance. Secondly, she often accompanies me to feed the horses, where she indulges in a veritable buffet of manure. Finally, I cannot abide a dirty dog in my house, so I bathe her weekly (at the very least) whether she needs it or not.
On bath day, we play a little game called Mabel Hears the Water Running and Hides Behind the Recliner. After that game, we play Maryanne Calls and Calls, But Mabel Never Comes. Today, however, I was three hours behind schedule and in no mood for games. Therefore, I resorted to bribery, knowing full well that Mabel is motivated by two things: food and sleep. So, I grabbed a formidable weapon in this battle…a handful of Cheese Puffs. (Sidenote: Cheese Puffs, when you do the math, sell for about $12 a pound and are made solely of air and calories.) Sure enough, after only two measly Cheese Puffs, she was standing outside the bathroom door. Just one more Cheese Puff later, she was neck deep in warm water getting scrubbed down with Garnier Fructis.
As I dried Mabel off, I considered how easily she had fallen. For three years, she’s taken a firm stand against bathing. For three years, I’ve had to physically haul her to the bathtub, which is easier said than done when dealing with a 50lb. dog dead set against getting clean. Today, however, she didn’t even put up a fight. She was a traitor to her own cause, and all because I tempted her with a few Cheese Puffs, and stale ones at that.
But I am not unlike Mabel. I have a cause, one that I have staked my eternal destiny on and committed my life to. I am a follower of Jesus, and I am called to live for Him. However, I find myself so easily distracted by bribes just as empty as the Cheese Puffs offered to Mabel. A little extra sleep when I should be spending more time in the Word. A few moments of silence when I could be sharing my testimony with a friend. A bad attitude when I ought to be praising the One who has blessed me so abundantly. Satan’s bribes are so cheap, and I am often too weak to resist them.
Fortunately, my God doesn’t change, which means His great love and compassion are unfailing, even for a flawed being such as myself. And since my salvation is secure, He has, for reasons unbeknownst to me, obligated Himself to join me in the cause and aid my efforts along the way. I am so comforted to know that the one-and-only Jesus is hanging right there with me, no matter how many Cheese Puffs the enemy rolls out.
CIRCLE G MINISTRY * PO Box 148, Union, WV 24983 * (681) 214-5512 * firstname.lastname@example.org