What walking my dog has taught me about my faith walk with God

In July, I told you about the new addition to our family: a Lhasa Apso puppy who we named Pixel. In the short time since then, Pixel has woven his way into our lives and hearts even more. He’s also gotten easier to deal with in being house trained. He still has a lot to learn, but we’re making progress.

While I have a lot to teach Pixel from sit to stay to no biting, I also continue to learn lessons from him. So many lessons.

Excited to go with the Master

On Monday, I was feeling tired as I went to get Pixel out of his crate to take him for his morning walk. It was a bit of a hectic morning. My husband and daughter were both sick. I got my son to school, stopped by the store for medicine for my sick people and then hurried home to get my daughter settled in, walk the dog and get started on my work that had a noon deadline.

Basically, I was feeling harried and tired. I opened Pixel’s crate door, got his walking harness and leash on him and noticed that he was excited. I had to make a detour to get my sunglasses instead of going straight to the front door as usual. He trotted happily along with me.

I realized that Pixel didn’t know where we were going. He knew who he was going with. And he was just excited to be going somewhere with me. He trusted me that I wouldn’t lead him astray. He followed me willingly and happily. Anywhere I said we needed to go, he would go along.

In that moment, I felt a prick in my heart. I thought of the times I need to trust and follow God no matter what and how sometimes I get distracted or unsure. Sometimes I grumble and complain. I don’t always go happily with an adoring look at the One who created me. I need to be more like Pixel.

Trusting the Master through scary times

But, here’s the thing. Pixel also isn’t perfect. While on Monday’s walk, he didn’t have any issues, on the Friday before, he sat down in the road and refused to walk because there was a trailer parked on the side of the road. It was different, and it was scary to him. And even being on the leash with me, he still wasn’t able to move forward out of fear.

Oh my how I relate to that! I get scared sometimes. I get overwhelmed. I get anxious. When the future looks unclear or the path unsure, I put on the brakes and sit in fear.

I imagine, though, that God does just what I did with Pixel. I coaxed him for a moment. I saw that wasn’t enough, so I picked him up and carried him past the trailer. He walked on with confidence. And when we passed the same trailer on the way home, he gave it a wide berth, but he walked on past because he knew that it was safe. I had shown him that I would take care of him on our path.

So many times I know that God has carried me through a difficult time. Sometimes He is able to coax me forward. Other times, I know He has to carry me. Each time I learn anew how faithful He is and how strong I can be with Him. I learn that my Master always knows where we are going and how to keep me safe when I am unsure, when I am happily trotting along or when I am somewhere in the middle.

Striving to do better

While I want to always be like Pixel in his excitement to trust and follow his master anywhere, I know that I still need to work on it. Fortunately my Master is a patient one. I have seen God’s trustworthiness so many times throughout the years. We have a history that I can remember and lean on when I am unsure. I have His Word that I can turn to for guidance. He is the Master, and I need only trust and follow Him.

(Do you love dogs? If so, check out my puppy’s Facebook page that’s just for fun: Pixel the Pup.)

About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

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