I watched it transpire from the living room window. My wife was heading outside in the morning to water her potted plants. Despite our superlative abilities at killing any and all plant life, we continue to make efforts to better ourselves and the flowers that have been placed in our care sitting at our front door during this years’ growing season. Truth be told…we purchased them already potted…and have had to do nothing but water them.
As my wife stepped out into the humid Minnesota morning my son calls from the window…”Mom, would you grab my yo-yo from the van before you come in?”
It is shortly after this request that my son and I hear a squeal coming from the front yard. “Aaah!...No!...Ahh!...Stop!...” As we investigate out the window we see an incredibly large, mangy dog chasing my wife around the front yard. The dog is stupidly smiling and panting with his tongue practically dragging on the dry brown grass, as he pursues my wife from one side of the vehicle to the other.
This dog looks BAD!...not angry, mean or vicious…just REALLY BAD!. His hair appears to be shaggy and falling out in clumps…he looks desperately thirsty and longing for affection.
“Aaah!” my wife cries…"Son, help me!”
He steps up to the window and calls out…”Mom!...my yo-yo!”
“Mom…get my yo-yo!”
“Mom…grab my yo-yo!”
After seeing my son’s apparent disregard for his mother, I went down to the front door to engage the situation. I open the door and yell at the mangy beast, “No! Go Home!” It is at this moment the 6 foot dog turns and bolts straight at me with his long tongue licking the sidewalk on the journey to the front door. “No!” I yell and quickly close the door nearly severing his large wet nose, just before he enters our home.
He turns back again to pursue my wife. “Isaac! Help!”
“Mom!...don’t forget my yo-yo!”
I open the door to attempt to re-engage…and again the dog turns.
We repeat this process until finally my wife makes a lap around the van…and sprints back to the house…yo-yo in hand. I open the door and let her streak inside and slam the door in the dog’s face. The unintelligent canine then turns and trots away.
“Mom…Did you get my yo-yo?”
Wow! Talk about centrally focused! In Acts 12 we find the establishment of the Church continuing to flourish, despite the persecution and challenges from Herod Agrippa and others. Yet, we find that the enemy of God will relentlessly continue his efforts to derail the growth of the Church. Acts 13:1-12 clearly reveals this. The Church is moving with the central mission of Jesus Christ in mind and heart…to be His witnesses…to the entire world. The enemy…or mangy dogs…will try and distract us from the mission at hand. To be witnesses.
That IS the mission!
We do not need to over-complicate it. We just need to stay true to it…to be centrally focused on it, just as Isaac was focused on his central mission of regaining control of his Yo-Yo.
Let us not be distracted by the mangy dogs of the enemy…and let us stay true to the mission of the Gospel…to make Christ known.
May we become centrally focused on Christ and his mission…while I try to help my son see that perhaps saving his mother may have been a loftier mission to attain…