focussed and beautiful

Warning: if you hate those sorts of posts where people talk about their new pets and share how their new pet is wonderful and that while walking with the new pet how God talks to them in some way …. if you really don’t like hearing that sort of stuff …. well you best stop reading now!

IMG_0921Meet Terry, aka Buglys Banker, a retired racing greyhound which joined our family on Saturday. We collected him from Croftview Kennels, one of the local Retired Greyhound Trust places.

Terry, like most greyhounds, is a pretty placid and relaxed guy. Yesterday I think I calculated that he slept 18 or 19 hours out of the 24. He certainly fits into the Ryan chilled laid back kind of lifestyle. The interesting thing about greyhounds, however, is that they are trained hunting machines.

A greyhound can spot ‘prey’ anything up to half a mile away and can get from a standard start to speed approaching nearly 40 mph faster than a ferrai can! But …. most times you see Terry he will either be by our side wanting to be stroked or hugged or sleeping in his basket and the picture shows.

It’s hard to think that Terry can be a speedy hunting machine as the websites tell us. I found that hard to believe until last night. As Terry was walking slowly along at around 10.30pm last night on his lead, not really wanting to be there (indeed I had to encourage him to come out), devotedly staying by my side, he suddenly saw a fox. Terry’s whole attitude changed in an instant.

This cuddly rather reluctant dog grew a few more inches instantly. He become totally focussed, ears pricked up in complete attention and alertness. Eyes fixed on the fox. His lead became tight as he pulled in his desire to do what he was created to do …. to hunt! He was both focussed and beautiful. It was an amazing sight and it took a few calls of his name to distract him (the training advice tells us that although intelligent greyhounds can only focus on one thing at a time – so the plan is to divert attention from the fox back to me!)

After a little while I had the calm relaxed Terry back. But, for that 60 seconds or so he was totally focussed, totally in tune, totally looking like the dog he is created to be. There was no doubt over what was on his mind.

So … what is my threatened God input from above?  ….. while walking back to the house last night I started to think of our lives as Christians and as ‘church’. I started to wonder if a lot of the time people look at us an individuals and collectively and simply don’t believe that we can be who we say we are or that we believe what we say we believe …. simply because we don’t look or act like we do.

When the church is distracted more about being right in its (often internal) arguments rather than being focussed on the truth of God’s extravagant love it loses that opportunity to look focussed and beautiful and instead seems tired, laid back and disinterested while it follows and whim of attention.

When individuals feel the need to to win arguments, or to prove themselves to be correct, or decide their ‘brand’ of Christianity is the only correct thinking there is rather than focus on the grace of God that says all are welcome and all are created in the Image of God .. then again we lose that opportunity to look focussed and beautiful as we reflect the image of Christ in society.

The I wondered … what difference could we really make if we became focussed and look like the real thing …. I wonder …

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