We once had a dog named Rox. I know it is a strange name for a dog; Rex or Sox maybe, but Rox? There was, however, method to our madness.
Rox was a German Shorthair Pointer, a hunting dog for those unfamiliar with the breed. The people we bought him from had owned a female Shorthair who had several litters and each litter they identified by a sequenced letter of the alphabet; A – litter, B – litter, and so forth. They asked each person who bought pups from them to name their dog by a name that started with the letter of the alphabet that identified the litter from which their dog came. Rox came from his mother’s X – litter, of all letters.
So we named our dog Xerox and called him Rox for short.
Rox wasn’t the best hunting dog to have ever lived, but he definitely had a nose for the hunt. And he would hunt the strangest things. We would find him pointing almost anything that moved. We’d find him in a point on sparrows in bushes and squirrels in trees. Once we found him on full point at a fly on the window sill. He’d point bugs and butterflies, grasshoppers and lizards (while we were still in California).
When we moved to Colorado, however, was when his hunting instincts began to blossom. I had a friend in Nebraska, the state neighboring Colorado on its north. Nebraska is rich with pheasant and even has some quail.
Once in the field Rox was a relentless hunter. He ran the fields like a wild dog, not a tame one. And once he discovered the scent of a gamebird he took on a completely different personality. He would come to a stop and assume the position of an almost motionless statue. He would sometimes be in a stretched out position when the scent of the bird would penetrate his nostrils and he would immediately freeze. His front paw would be off the ground and his body stretched to the limit; but he would freeze in that pose and not move, even an inch. Other times he would turn to investigate a hunch, catch a scent and freeze. He would be twisted with his head aimed at his tail and his front leg up in the air. But he would be frozen in pose nonetheless. It was a sight to behold.
I say almost motionless because there was slight movement in the form of shaking. While on point Rox would shake as though he was freezing. But it wasn’t because he was cold. It was because everything in him wanted to pounce on the pheasant or quail in front of him but was being held back by his DNA and his training.
Rox loved to hunt more than life itself. Early on, if I went to the basement to put hunting gear together or spoke out loud words associated with hunting, he would begin to do a dance because he knew hunting was somewhere in the near future. But his senses became even more acute than that. It got so he could sense even the thought of hunting in my mind. If Rox sensed even the inkling of the hunt in my thoughts he would come to full alert, begin to run to the door and cry to get into the car to go hunting.
Why, because hunting was what he was made for. God didn’t make Rox for lying at his master’s feet, fetching the paper, or barking at passersby. God made Rox for hunting; and when he was doing that was when he was in his element and having the time of his life.
The same is true with humans. God made some of us to be athletes, some to be dancers, some to be singers, some to be actors, some to be musicians, some to be leaders, some to be artists and some to be teachers, or counselors, or mathematicians, or even tech geeks. When we are doing what we are made for, we are happiest, and we are effective.
But it goes deeper than that. God made humans for himself. If we pursue other alternatives than Him we falter. We get out of sync. Our lives don’t work right. Our marriages don’t run right. Our families crumble. Our emotions become troubled. Our relationships splinter. Our professions don’t fulfill and our feelings of significance decline and bottom out.
CS Lewis likened it to an automobile. He said Humans were made to run on God just as cars were made to run on gasoline. When you put anything but gas in the tank of a car it sputters and fumes and stalls to a halt. But if you put gasoline in the tank it runs like a champ.
If you put anything in humans but God, the natural recourse is lives that sputter and fume and stall and stop. But if you put God and His Son Jesus Christ in them they function the way they were originally designed to function.
I often ponder the lives of people I know who are far from God. I observe their existences without Him, and their struggles, their sorrows and their pain. I wish I could speak to them heart-fully and that they would listen. If I could I would plead with them to “Taste and see that the Lord He is good” (Psalm 34:8). I would encourage them to heed Jesus invitation to “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I would appeal to them to respond to His invitation when He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him (or her) to come unto me and drink. He who believes in me as the scripture has said, out of his (or her) heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
Rox was made for hunting. Humans were made for God.
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