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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Pets (09/13/04)

TITLE: Faith Unleashed
By Al Boyce


Yelping joyously, their toenails scrabbling on the concrete, the twin Weimaraners bolted down the driveway and careened onto the asphalt road beyond. And I trailed regally behind them, leashes firmly in hand, on my roller blades.

What a great way to exercise two 80-pound dogs! I thought. I fondly watched their gray flanks as we neared the first corner and I wondered -- fleetingly -- how to communicate which way I wanted them to go.

No worries. They smoothly negotiated the turn and accelerated DOWN the resulting hill and I used my feeble water-skiiing skills to keep pace in a sweeping turn across both lanes and the shoulder.

OK. Going downhill now at, oh, 35 miles per hour? And look! The dogs seem to be, well, a little AFRAID of the sound that my roller blades make at this speed. But they have the answer ... ACCELERATE!

A famous atheist -- Ayn Rand -- once said: "A leash is only a rope with a noose at both ends." I begin to see her point. But I also think, "If she'd ever held THIS leash, she'd have quickly reconsidered inviting Jesus into her life!"

Before things could get any more out of hand, I directed the roller blades into the grass alongside the road and tumbled gracelessly to the ground -- becoming a bouncing anchor that eventually stalled my runaway Weimaraners.

Bruised, shaken, but laughing and thrilled to be alive, I reeled in my dogs and thanked God I hadn't tied them to the handlebars of my racing bike instead (yes, the thought had crossed my mind!)

Ayn Rand's message was that when we seek to control something, it controls us as well. It doesn't only apply to roller-blading with Weimaraners, nor is it uniquely suited to atheists.

Consider what happens when we, as Christians, decide we can control sinful behavior in our lives. We put a leash on our anger, our gluttony, our lust, our pride. And we careen down the driveway with those dogs in full gallop -- not realizing the leash won't help us when we are on roller blades.

Society tells us that anything is OK in moderation. So we are tempted to walk the edge. Society tells us that if we are strong, we can resist temptation. Sometimes we don't realize the fallacy until we are rushing headlong into something we can no longer avoid.

Remember 1 Peter 5:8 -- "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

So, instead of trying to control sin, we are advised to avoid temptation by giving it to God. We may pray that He protect us from temptation as in Matthew 26:41:

"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

And we can trust that God will always give us a way out when temptation comes, as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."

But I will tell you from experience: Trusteth not thine own leash, nor thine roller blades!"

Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 09/20/04
A good lesson to be learned.
Teresa Lee Rainey09/20/04
Al, I love this message. You made a difficult lesson fun.
Kenny Paul Clarkson09/20/04
Al, Great article as always. Ayn Rand was one of the great thinkers of our time (or her time). It's amazing that atheists are often more perceptive perceptive than Christians (Luke 16:8). By the way, I appreciate the SHORT, CONCISE paragraphs. It makes your entries easier to read. Kenny
darlene hight09/20/04
Al this is excellant! Loved the adventure and the lesson!
Corinne Smelker 09/20/04
Simply awesome - love the quotes.
Phyllis Inniss09/20/04
You used your adventure and fun with your dogs as a good lesson about faith unleashed. Like the quotes which I can never seem to remember when I want to use them.
Marina Rojas09/20/04
What a delight to "ride along" with these dashing dogs, and get a wonderful lesson of the Word on top. Thank you for a good read.
Lucian Thompson09/20/04
Al, I really like the message you wove into this very delightful article. Sometimes we get so involved in the story that we forget to tie in the message that makes it all worthwhile. I salute you, sir!(click)
Angie Schulte09/21/04
You very excellently painted an image with your words. Loved the lesson and the style of writing. Thanks for sharing..
Mary Elder-Criss09/22/04
Excellent writing, from the title to the closing sentence. Well done!
Barbara Ann Smith09/22/04
This is a great story and kept me, as the reader, interested until the last line. This message rings true in all our lives.
Rita Garcia09/22/04
Wonderful transition from walking the dogs, to reminding us of an all important lesson!

John Hunt09/22/04
Great analogy. Well done.
L.M. Lee09/24/04
So we are tempted to walk the edge - reminded me of all the years in youth work when Kids wanted to know "how far was too far." No one ever asked... "how holy is too holy?"