Kathleen Beagles, Editor, Junior/Earliteen/Youth, General Conference Sabbath School

Summary: Can you imagine the relationship of a rescued puppy to its master and our walk with Christ as Savior and Lord? This author gives us some spiritual food for thought on what a growing relationship with Christ is like, using this very illustration.

Imagine a puppy caught in a bear trap. Imagine a stranger coming across the trap and extricating the puppy, setting it gently on the path, and then continuing on the path calling invitingly, ?Follow me, puppy.?

Whether or not the puppy follows, the stranger is its savior. If the puppy decides to obey and follow the stranger, it has accepted him as master as well. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be (Jn 12:26).

Let’s say this is a smart puppy and it starts following the kind stranger, instead of fending for itself in the scary world of bear traps. Soon its energy returns and, like a normal puppy, it is enticed by the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way (Is 53:6). From time to time the new master slows a bit or pauses in his steady journey toward his home to repeat the call ?Follow me, puppy.?

The easily distracted puppy is becoming attached to this savior and master, but (1) the relationship is not very deep yet, (2) ?follow me? is new to the puppy’s vocabulary, and (3) obedience is a concept that will take some time and training for it to fully internalize. But as the puppy continues to come back at the master’s call, the sense of a following, obedient relationship begins to grow.

In some ways, the relationship of puppy with its savior-turned-master mirrors that of the Christian and his or her Savior and Lord. As the relationship grows, the puppy goes less and less on its own explorations, letting go of its short-sighted agendas for the journey. It focuses more and more on walking with its chosen master, even though it may not understand exactly where they are going or the purpose for the trip. But we are not puppies, and life isn’t that simple, is it?

This issue of Dynamic Steward explores the topic of human, not canine, response to Lordship. But it has distinct echoes of the scenario above. In it you will discover the concept of drawing closer to the Master, not just trying harder; the concept of following Him, not just doing Him the favor of accepting Him; and the concept of obedience as the natural antidote to discontent. Unlike a puppy, we were created by God to ?reason together? (Is1:18). And what more reasonable decision can we make than to be more intentional about following the Master home?