Minature Greyhound Credit: Opus Moreschi/Flickr/Creative Commons
It is used to mean focused perseverance. To keep your eye on the prize and to work until you achieve that goal.
In my house, though, it would be more like a dog with my shoe!
My little guy, Spot, prefers shoes to bones. So if you come over to our place, you will find him walking around with your shoe on his head!
I am not making this up! He is an Italian Greyhound and they have long skinny faces. He literally sticks his nose right into the shoe and carries it to his dungeon of destruction.
One time a guest had rather smelly feet and shoes. After Spot put his head into the shoe, he sat in the middle of the floor and just grinned, drunk on the smell!
Not sure if that was his goal but he achieved it.
We can learn a lot from dogs. Cats too, and I am even more of a cat person, but please don’t tell Spot that. You see, dogs know what they want, and they know how to get what they want.
For example, today is my writing day. I focus on articles and other things that I pretend to do. That means I am home. And that means he gets me all to himself. I am his shoe, so to speak.
So while I am typing he is pawing at my arm. He tries to sit on my lap which brings a whole new image to what a laptop looks like. He will pace the floor and make an annoying half grunt half whine sound. When all else fails he squeezes between me and the armrest.
He is one determined doggie.
On the days in which I leave the house, I don’t know what he does, and I am too scared to put in a security camera. I do know the cat sucks the old toothpaste off the toothbrushes, and even that is way too much information.
When I return, Spot runs to the door and barks and jumps up, and lets me know how happy he is to see me, unless Stella comes home with me. Then it’s run by Andy and hello Stella.
When we take him for walks he greets every dog he meets with a kiss then the disgusting stuff that dogs do when they greet each other. But he is just happy to see them.
So what do I learn from this little guy?
I learn that to get what you want, you really have to keep pestering whoever has what you want. I learn that if you greet everyone with love, they will be happy to see you. And I learn to stay away from smelling shoes.
Think about something you really want. For me, it was writing. Thousands of pages of stories and articles later, I am writing for opentheword.org. I have two books for sale on Amazon and will be starting a third soon. I even made the equivalent of minus three cents an hour on the books!
When we really want something, perhaps we need to be like a dog with a bone. In the Bible, there is a story about a persistent widow that kept bugging a judge to hear her case. He couldn’t be bothered, but in the end, he gave in and gave her the justice she demanded. Not because he was good, or her case was sound. He gave in to her because she was persistent. She persevered.
How many times do we try to climb that ladder of success and get to where we want to be? We apply everything we have to getting there only to start looking for the next step, the next rung on the ladder.
What if I took what Spot teaches me about being persistent and persevering and applied to my relationship with God? Instead of trying to be a professional speaker or writer or athlete or teacher, I tried to be as close to Jesus as possible? In other words, instead of chasing success first and then Jesus second, I make him first and put the same amount of effort and determination in knowing him first. In the process, I find who I really am. And once I find that out, I then pursued a success that is better suited and more fulfilling for me.
Make Jesus your foundation, and your future will be built on solid rock.
Just don’t smell my shoes.
Andy Becker is a pastor, retired counsellor and former CEO of a Hospice organization. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.