Don't Be a Dog

I brought my son's dog, Cooper, to the Thanksgiving Chapel. I think the students were really glad to see him again--he helped me with the Opening Chapel and they seemed to remember him.

In the Opening Chapel I had said, "Be Like a Dog": Know who your master is and run to him. You belong to God.

For Thanksgiving my message was, "Don't Be Like a Dog." Cooper loves dog biscuits and I had brought one for him. (He also loved the thanksgiving baskets full of food piled up near the podium.) I asked the students, as they watched Cooper snarf up a dog biscuit, whether they thought he was thankful. I got a loud affirmative chorus on that one. But I pressed them a bit: Are you sure? Cooper is happy he has a dog biscuit. And now that he's done with his biscuit, he is eager to get another one. But is he really thankful?

Thankfulness requires a few things Cooper might be in short supply of: 1) the ability to see through the gift to the Giver; and 2) the ability to remember a good which is not fully present.

I don't want to be God's Dog, begging for more all the time. I want to see that the gifts God has given point to a Faithful God rich in Mercy. And I want to be able to remember, even in hard times, the good things I've received and that are still good even though I might be in need. I want to respond faithfully to the Scripture Abigail read at our Chapel: "Give thanks in all things" (1 Thessalonians 5).


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