The Mighty Wonder Buck (A.K.A. The MWB, or Buckley) loves it when I have the car keys in my hand and head out the door; hopes springs eternal in that big black hairy chest of my dog-pound mutt. A car ride could mean a number of things: to our small town community compost (with all kinds of smells to explore!), to the local farm and home store, or even splashing and swimming at the nearby lake (him, not me, but invariably yours truly gets wet.)
No matter what I’m doing, he’s just good company, and depending on the activity, sometimes he comes home exhausted but tongue-hanging-out-the-mouth happy. If you’re a dog-lover like Bob and I both are, you know the look.
And you would also know that there is nothing unusual about talking to your canine buddy. Even singing to him. I mean, he doesn’t know or care if you can sing or not. So when I came out of Walmart one day to pack my groceries into the car, there was the MWB, cute as ever with his big black head looking at me.
I had parked in isolation in the back lot with all the windows down so Buck had plenty of air and shade, which also meant the car was right up next to the outdoor garden center, enclosed only by a big fence.
A fact which had slipped my mind.
And as I merrily talked and sang to my furry friend (an original composition, mind you, just for the dog,), I happened to turn and catch a glimpse of a man looking at me as he perused the various and sundry greenery.
There are times it is unfortunate that so many people know me in this town…
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…”
Okay, I know that’s not the kind of “peculiar” God is talking about here. Unfortunately, I have plenty of unholy peculiarities for Him to work on, (that have nothing to do with singing to my dog in public.)
I am convinced, however, that part of this “so great a salvation” that we are given is powerfully intended to make us nonetheless strange in the eyes of our contemporaries, for the very reason of getting their attention and putting that focus on God. There are so many practical examples of this, in the way we interact, entertain, spend money and time, even (most of all)—how we think.
Here’s one bone to chew one:
WordPress has all these great tips and courses on improving your blog site and increasing your readership—that is terrific and and who doesn’t want to do that, right?! I know I do. Logically, it makes sense that the more people read your stuff, the more people can be helped by what you write.
But here’s the real meat. As a Christian, my goal isn’t just to reach a whole bunch of people, but to reach the people God wants me to reach. That doesn’t preclude my due diligence, but it also doesn’t mean I mark my success by my stats either. (I mean, Hitler also reached lots of people, just sayin’.)
Which is a “peculiar” way to regard success in our culture, even in our church culture. Big flashy sound stages with matching budgets; not that those are bad at all, but they aren’t the goal, nor are they a sign of success…at all. In God’s culture, where the peculiar people “live and move and have their being”, success is measured by obedience, not outcomes.
And that will definitely turn heads, more than singing to your dog!