An old dog of mine has been around a long time. I remember what he was like when he was young. As soon as the garage door or gate was left open, he disappeared. On more than one occasion he even went home with strangers. I have spent a lot of time looking for that dog. I always had to walk him with a leash, for he loved to fight. His frequent barking in the middle of the night could drive any sane man over the edge. Much changed in the last couple of years as old age finally caught up with him. He can barely hear, is constantly down in the back, and his kidneys are gone. However, the instant I get close enough for him to make out it is me, his whole body begins to move, his ears perk up, and he wants to go with me. Our walks together are only about one-third the distance they used to be, but I no longer need a leash; he no longer pays attention to dogs or strangers, and he never leaves my side. Often he lags behind, and I have to wait for him; however, if I simply reach over and touch him, his energy resurges and he walks close to me. I can see that life has taught him a few lessons I was never able to. I think it would have been nice had he always stayed by my side, not listening to strangers or running off, but I probably appreciate him more now. I feel important knowing that in his broken condition and pain he chooses to walk beside me.
Once in India while gazing at a cow that appeared to be running wild, I asked my Indian brothers, “Who owns the cow; how does it get home?” The reply came with a slight laugh, “Michael, man is the only creature that does not know its master.” Life will teach us all who the Master is, and though He must wait until our condition is broken, He enjoys our fellowship.