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A MASTERPIECE IN MOTION: Walking in Step with our Shepherd

Yahweh is my best friend and shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love. His paths take me to an oasis of peace near the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where He restores and revives my life” (Psalm 23:1-3 TPT)

Border collies are the perfect dog. They’re bred to assist the shepherd in caring for sheep. If you have ever seen the working relationship between a shepherd and a well trained border collie, it’s a masterpiece in motion. To be effective, dog and shepherd have to have a deeply connected relationship. A good Border Collie is very intelligent, attentive, anticipatory, empathetic and above all obedient. These are all the traits I look for in a dog.

We recently got a Border Collie puppy. He’s a furry, four legged, whirling dervish of activity. Border Collie puppies are energetic and undisciplined. They are fast, agile, highly intelligent and have the attention span of a mayfly. As a result, they find very creative ways of getting into trouble very quickly. Living with a Border Collie for the first six months is like living with an undisciplined baby Einstein with the worlds worst case of ADHD.

It is CRITICAL to properly train a Border Collie. Left untrained, their herding instincts cause them to try to herd cars and bite at peoples legs and ankles. This is a MAJOR problem for owner and dog alike. If these instincts aren’t brought under proper control, it can get the dog killed. For EVERYONE’S sake, they NEED to know they work for you not the other way round.

The best way to train a puppy, is to do walk-training. To walk-train, you put the puppy on a very short leash and have them walk beside you. If they rush in front, firmly pull on the leash and give them a command to return to their position. This teaches the dog that they are not the one calling the shots. Daily walks are IMPERATIVE. With consistent training, puppies learn to take their cues from you.

The first time I put Rocket’s collar on, he FREAKED OUT. He threw himself in the air, twisted, squirmed and howled in protest. I let him calm down, then attached the leash. In between Rocket’s bass on a fishing line temper tantrums, I coaxed him forward one step at a time. Our first “walk” was a whopping 20 feet. Each outing went better. Eventually, he was walking in step with me. The most amazing thing about walk training, is it changed his out-of-control puppy behavior, not just on our walk’s, but EVERYWHERE.

As I contemplated this training process, it occurred to me that there is a powerful spiritual gem hidden within. We NEED walk-training! We can only become our best selves when we learn to take our cues from our Shepherd. The more attentive and obedient we are, the better our lives work. When we submit to walk-training, EVERY aspect of our lives improves. When we develop a close relationship with Him and look to Him for leadership, we can have a meaningful and abundant life. It is the natural result of walking in step with Him!

Our Shepherd WANTS to walk with us. This was His desire from the beginning of creation. We will ALWAYS benefit from daily “walk-training”. Through it we develop an intimate relationship of trust with the Lover of our souls. Intimacy with Him restores and revives our lives!

In this season of chaos, it is even more IMPERATIVE to walk intimately and attentively with our Shepherd every day. His loving, wise and caring guidance are EXACTLY what we need to navigate these difficult times. When we submit to the leadership of our GOOD Shepherd, our lives become a masterpiece in motion.