"An Inside Perspective"

November 2010


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I grew up in Pennsylvania, and as you may know, that is a state where hunting and fishing are highly regarded. It seems that most people born there are just plain “country” and the outdoors is a huge part of family life.

As a kid, our whole family used to go up to the mountains for a couple weeks in the summer and live in a tent. Sounds kind of crazy now as I think about it, but that is exactly what we did. We all loved it and very much looked forward to it. When I say the whole family I’m talking about my parents with all the kids and my grandmother and my aunt too! I didn’t think much about it as a kid but that was very adventurous of them to say the least. It seems the outdoors is in my blood, and thus, this story.

Dad had a beagle named Clipper and he lived in our back yard. He was a rabbit hound and, of course, he loved to hunt. Dad and I could not wait for rabbit season to start to hear the sound of Clipper running those rabbits. I remember as a youngster how I would know rabbit season was coming. I would be driving somewhere with Dad and all of sudden he would pull over. He would walk to the middle of the road and pick up an old raggedy run over dead rabbit and throw it in the trunk. That was my clue and I knew what was next!

We went straight to get Clipper and my little wheelie bike. Dad would throw everything in the car and off we would go to the fields down by the railroad tracks. The whole time Clipper would be going wild in the car and barking like a crazed banshee because he could smell that rabbit in the trunk. It doesn’t take much to rile up a rabbit hound. At just the smell of an old hunting coat they will go nuts with anticipation for the chase.

Anyway, after we had stopped, Dad would tie Clipper to the outside of the car with a rope. Then, he would get the bike and the dead rabbit out of the trunk. Mind you, I’m only about ten years old but I knew what was coming; we had been doing this ever since I could remember. I was well trained! Next, Dad would take a 20 foot rope and tie one end to my bike and the other end to the dead rabbit. All the while Clipper was going crazy; the smell of the rabbit was like a canine aphrodisiac to him. Dad would tell me get on and go boy and don’t let him catch you! I would get a few minutes head start, and then, Dad would let Clipper go. I would try every evasive move possible to trick Clipper. I would go through the creek, up the hills, around in circles, back and forth, etc. There was simply no shaking Clipper. Once he got that scent he was on my trail like white on rice! Eventually, I would work my way back to the car ahead of said crazed hound and Dad would quickly put the dead rabbit in a plastic bag and that was the end of it. Clipper would follow the trail back to the car and never be allowed to get the rabbit.

Dad knew it would therefore became personal between Clipper and the rabbits. Come opening morning of rabbit season you couldn’t hold that hound hack; he had to get those rabbits! Now, upon reflection, I know Dad was training Clipper and, in his own way, me too.

Indeed, Dad was training Clipper to perfect his calling and his created purpose as a rabbit hound. Dad wanted him to be the best rabbit dog in the whole state of Pennsylvania. Over and over again, year after year he would train that dog. Every year Clipper would learn something new and be better at what he did. Dad was honing him. Guess what I observed in all that training? Dad and Clipper had a unique bond and relationship; indeed, they were inseparable. Clipper found no higher joy than pleasing my father.

It is written, “Now no discipline for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are trained thereby.” (Heb. 12:11)

Did you know that God is training you? Yes, God wants you to be the best Christian in all of Christ. Over and over again, year after year God is training you to perfect your calling and your created purpose in Him. The Lord is honing you. He wants you sharp! Every year you should learn new things in holiness. It is written, “Be ye holy; for I Am holy.” (1Pet.1 :16)

The Lord desires that unique bond of holiness that only the fullness of His Spirit imparts. He desires a relationship with inseparability of will. The goal of training is that your heart may beat with His as one in His will. The Lord desires you to find no higher joy than pleasing your Father. Beloved, embrace your training because if the Lord pulls over to pick up an old raggedy run over dead rabbit in your life, let that be a clue because. . .