“My Teacher was a Real Dog”
While driving down the street the other day, I noticed a dog in a fence jumping up and down, turning in circles and barking at the top of its lungs. The dog was highly agitated. I looked in the direction the dog was looking and there, across the street, in a neighbor’s yard was a cat. And, as cats often do, there was no fear, no concern or worried look, no hair standing up, no hunched back or laid-back ears; just a look of “business as usual.”
If you were asked to choose, which one of these two would you say you are more like?
A wise man once said,
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? --Proverbs 6:6-9
Another wise man said,
But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. --Job 12:7-8
Still another, the wisest of all, said,
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? --Matthew 6:26
Down through history wise men of God have used the behavior of animals to teach valuable lessons. We also can learn valuable lessons for ourselves from animals.
Think about it. There was no hostility being exhibited by this cat. The dog was not in any danger from this cat. The dog’s territory and owner were not in any danger from this cat. So why all the barking?
Do you bark at your family? When conversating with others or on social media do you bark about what is in another person’s yard? Do you sometimes get loud so that the entire neighborhood hears?
Perhaps we might learn from the cat as well. One wisdom we might gain is that as long as God is with me, whom shall I fear? The wisewriter of Hebrews said it this way:
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” --Hebrews 13:5-6
Another bit of wisdom we might learn is to not allow the barking of others to upset us.
And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?" But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. --Matthew 27:12-14