Over the years, our family has included both cats and dogs that helped us raise our kids. and became our companions. Our cats seemed willing to allow us the privilege of living with them. Our dogs seemed grateful for the privilege of living with us. They taught us the difference between dog theology and cat theology.
It might sound strange, even sacrilegious to a few, but Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robison have developed whole seminars and books around “cat and dog theology.” (www.catndogtheology.com). Simply put, cats say, “You feed me, shelter me and care for me. I must be god.” Dogs say, “You feed me, shelter me and care for me. You must be god.” If you have ever had a cat and a dog you know what I mean. Cat theology is me-centered. “What can God do for me?” Dog theology is God centered. “What does God want me to do?” Here are a few things I am learning about “dog theology” from my dog, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Buddy.
Buddy trusts me. Whenever I get in my truck he jumps in and takes his place, ready to go. He doesn’t know where we are going or what we are going to do. But he believes that if I am driving it is okay. I need to be more like that with God. I always want to know where we are going, when we are going to get there and what we are going to do once we arrive. I need to jump in the truck with God and give him control of my life.
Buddy wants to be with me. He doesn’t care if he is at the lake running, splashing and rolling in the mud, sitting in a chair next to me on the patio or in my study lying at my feet while I write. He just wants to be where I am. I need to spend time with God. What made the early disciples different was the fact they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).
Buddy follows me. He even follows me from room to room in the house. Whenever we go for a walk in an open field, I let him off his leash and he runs free. But he keeps an eye on me. He has developed a radius of his own, about thirty yards from wherever I am. Within that radius he feels comfortable exploring smells and marking trees. Occasionally he gets out of eyesight. But, when I call his name he comes running. Not real fast, but as fast as he can. After all he is a Corgi. It reminds me of what Jesus said to His disciples, “Come, follow me!” “My sheep know my voice.”
Buddy waits for me. If I am writing, he lies down, rests his head on his paws, keeps one eye on me and waits. If we are walking and I stop, he sits down with his tongue hanging out and waits. If I go to the store, he waits in my truck until I return. Buddy never complains about waiting on me. He never gets in a hurry. Maybe I should be more like that with respect to God and those I love.