The Trouble with Little Dogs

I recently encountered a man who was out walking his dogs.  Three dogs as a matter of fact, all of them on leashes.  Two of them were larger than average size dogs.  One somewhat sheep looking dog, the other one a German shepherd mix and a third one was about the size of the fellow’s foot and looked like he had several mixtures in him.  I spoke to the fellow and said, “You’ve got a handful, haven’t ya?”  He said, “Yeah, I do.  The two big ones are fine but the little one is always trouble.”  Sure enough, just over a few steps I saw the little guy was the problem.  He was running in and out under the other two dogs and around back of the fellow who was trying to corral them.  Right there almost on command he started being trouble.  As we parted and walked off, the man stumbled as he almost tripped and fell on the leash that went to the little dog because he was darting around again.

I went on my way hoping that poor fellow made it to where he was going with the dogs and thinking about the words of Solomon who said that it’s the little foxes that ruin the vines (Song of Sol. 2:15).  No doubt Solomon was talking about a vineyard that had grapes hanging in clusters.  While the big foxes were out eating other things and getting into other stuff, the little foxes can come in and ruin a good cluster of grapes.  It is also true that Solomon was also probably trying to convey a wonderful spiritual truth that people need to be alert, aware, and attentive to the little things in their lives that could go wrong and ruin all the big things.

We see it all the time.  It’s just one small thing that begins a downhill slide and a lot of other things create a dilemma in a person’s life.  It is true and genuine insight to understand that it’s the first drink that begins the road to alcoholism.  It’s the first experimentation with drugs that can set you on the course that can ruin your life.  It is the first dollar or quarter gambled that can capture you in an addiction that can ruin you financially.  It is the small things.  It is the beginning of things that lead in time to great sadness.

It is so interesting to stop and think about the fact that often in our spiritual lives there are what people think are little sins that begin or those things that people see as just small and insignificant that become ruination to us.  Take just a moment to think about some little things that have crept into your life.  Maybe little sins.  It’s interesting how we think some sins are small and some are big.  We refer to a little white lie and a big black lie and the truth is that the little white lie may be more detrimental than the big monster of a lie.  A lie is wrong, but if you think that because it’s small and on the margins of life and insignificant, you are exactly wrong.

Maybe just a little attitude has crept into your life.  A bad attitude toward somebody or something and you just let it live and grow and sit around in the fringes of your mind and worse around your heart and you’ve developed a growing bad attitude toward a fellow worker or friend or family member or your church or just people in general.  It would be wise to check it out and do something about it like confess and let God remove it.

Maybe you have let one of the little sins of the flesh become a toy in your mental processes to the point that more and more it has become a part of your life and more and more you realize what shouldn’t be there has become a constant member of your mental family.  It’s time to take action and stop the little dog from running around and tripping you everywhere you turn.

It could be that the little thing that is a part of your life is just silence; being silent when you should be speaking.  Now I recognize that more often than not, we’re speaking when we should be silent, but sometimes when it comes to speaking up for the Lord or the things that are true and right, even for things that are encouraging and helpful, we just stay silent.  James said, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).  Sometimes we let little sins of our disconnectedness, quietness, lack of encouragement and blessing toward others to creep in.

How long has it been since you have written a note to someone who has blessed your life?  How long has it been since you have talked with someone you see all the time and have grown to just take them and their care for you for granted and you’ve done nothing?  That little silent creature has become part of your life maybe has messed up some things around you but more than that have kept you from being open and caring to share with somebody else.  Little dogs are like that and they’ll mess up the big things.

So today try this.  Whatever the little dog is that is creating havoc in your life, deal with it.  Either tie him up and leave him out of your life or be plain, clear, and authoritative to tell him he can’t run your life.  God will help you and you will not only be blessed; you can be a blessing.

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Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasurer