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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Theology from My Snow Dog

In the past few weeks we have gotten a lot of snow here in Chicago and amazingly not one day has school been cancelled! This is new for us. In Texas when it snows the whole state shuts down. No one drives, everyone stays home and plays. Here, everyone is still driving, buses are going and kids have to sit in school while I'm out playing in it!

This is the first winter for Selah, my Siberian Husky puppy and her first experience with snow. For those who don't know, Siberian Huskies are a medium-size, wolf-like dog. Huskies are an active, energetic, and resilient breed whose ancestors come from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. Siberian Huskies were bred to pull heavy loads long distances through difficult conditions. The dogs were imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and later spread into the United States and Canada.

In other words, they were bred for the snow and to work long hours in it. Now Selah doesn't work, as in pull a sled, but she does play hard. And when she first stepped foot in the snow, even though she had never seen it, it was like she was finally home. She immediately had extra energy like she had drank a Red Bull and began pulling me like I was her sled. When we finally got to the park and I let her off leash she ran all over the place, stopping only to stick her head completely in the snow like she were an Ostrich. She would make doggy snow angels, hunt squirrels and just play forever this first snow day.

And then it occurred to me: even though she had never experienced snow, or sledding, as soon as she was in the element she was bred to be in, she thrived and did exactly what she was created for instinctively. When she was in Texas (out of her element) we never noticed some of her behaviors as we do in this colder climate.

This is true for us as well.

We were created to be in community with the communal God and with His body. Obviously our sin has taken us out of this "element" and we don't thrive in it. We don't experience life in this element. Every time we sin, it's like we remove ourselves from the very element that we were created for. That's why Jesus said the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy life. He comes to take us away from what we were bred to do.

HOWEVER, when Jesus reconciles us back into His kingdom, we have life. Thats why Jesus said, "I have come to give you life--and to the full." He came to bring us back into the element we were created to be in. In this element we thrive. We have life. We experience our purpose. We are excited about what we are doing.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ this season, remember why he came: to bring us back into the place we were created to be in. As I watch Selah play in the snow and as she hates leaving it to go inside, God reminds me and asks why I would ever leave too? And He then reminds me of His son and His grace that brings me back every time. I want to be where I was created to be, how about you?

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