The thrill of the hunt. The excitement of the chase. The power of the… babysitter.
Most German Shorthaired Pointers will do what instinct tells them. Most other animals will do the same. Moses? Well…
There are many of his character traits that fit the mold of a typical bird dog. Then there are so many character traits that do not. Case and point, his instinctive tendency to babysit.
If you were to watch him at work outside you would find him running from tree to tree, bush to bush, hole to hole. His nose leads him and his ears inform him. You would assume he keeps the squirrels at bay and the possums in fear. For hours he will explore his territory looking for the next great prey. However, when he catches it, he ceases the chase and sits watch by either pointing (very typical) until we notice or by sitting next to it gently (atypical) watching its every move.
One such incident happened recently. He sat beside a bush staring longer than usual. I assumed he had merely found another mole or mouse and was waiting for it to show its furry face. As I approached him, however, I found a surprise.
A barely recognizable newborn rabbit. Its ears still pasted to its head and its eyes still closed, it shakily and slowly moved alongside Moses’ outstretched paw. The only reason I knew it was a rabbit was because Reece was there.
Under the bush was a litter of them. Moses had apparently retrieved the baby, realized his mistake, and was sitting watch until we came to the rescue.
One of his favorite jobs is locating and chasing birds from trees. While working in the yard recently, I was well aware of his typical stare down with an unknown creature under a tree. I assumed it was a mole hole. After about 20 minutes, I decided to investigate and found him nose to beak with a baby bird.
He rescues baby birds from the grips of drowning in the ditch (more like a gentle flowing stream). He alerts us when there is a need beyond his control. In his younger years, a baby rabbit, possum, or bird would have been prey, or at least a new toy. I will admit that I much prefer his gentle respect for (most) life over the regular job description of a gun dog. Possibly the most atypical responses come from this typical looking dog.
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16
“Blameless and pure”…We fail everyday don’t we? Those moments when someone would observe us and have no idea we claim to be a follower of Christ.
These verses in Philippians are a reminder of what is expected of us. When that car pulls out in front of you. When that co-worker rubs you the wrong way. When that doctor gives you that bad report. How do we respond?
It is easier to act like a Christian than to react like a Christian. When there is less time to think and more time to do. When what is at the tip of the tongue shows what is at the depths of the heart. But these are the times it counts.
It is somewhat simple to show the world how holy and set apart we are when…things are going well. When there are no surprises. But when moments arise out of nowhere that force us to respond like a reflex. Hmmm…I cringe to think about the times I have had an “unholy reflex”.
So what do we do? Do we cease trying to live for Christ? Do we throw up our hands in defeat and proclaim the narrow road to be impassable? Of course not!
We are an imperfect people only made perfect in the eyes of the Father through the blood of the Son. There will be times we show just how imperfect we are. There will be times we have that unholy reflex. It does not mean we are a lost cause. It means we must keep on keeping on. That we must continue to grow mature in our walk. That we must continue our effort to be so close to Christ that we look more like Him with every breath…and with every bad driver that pulls out in front of us.
It means that, like Moses, we respond to moments in an atypical way…like a Christian.