The Labrador Dance

Do you see what I see?

Do you hear what I hear?

Do you smell what I smell?

Walking with Adi and her littermate Nova is like watching a choreographed dance of stop and start.  One will be moving forward while the other stops to investigate a smell.  The other circles back to check out this intriguing smell before moving on to find her own, only to be joined a moment later by her sister.  The same dance takes place when they stop to look or listen.  These Labs willingly share what they smell, hear, and see with one another.

While watching Adi and Nova dance through the woods as we hiked, I found myself humming the Christmas carol “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and thinking that our Heavenly Father wants us to move through life in much the same way as these dogs.  He wants us to come up alongside each other sharing our experiences with His Son Jesus.  A look at the Christmas story shows people who did just that. 

First there are the shepherds.  The fortitude of these seasoned outdoorsmen was shaken when they found themselves the recipients of an angelic birth announcement, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” This was followed by an angelic performance of praise that illuminated the night sky.  When stillness returned to the fields, these men immediately sought to “find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  The Bible tells us that after the shepherds found baby Jesus they didn’t return to their flocks; rather they “spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard were amazed. . .”  Imagine the wonder and joy felt by those who stopped and heard the incredible account relayed by the astounded shepherds who had seen the Christ child. (Luke 2: 8-18)

Another example is found in the aged widow named Anna.  This faithful prophetess encountered the newborn Jesus when his parents took him to the temple in Jerusalem.  “Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”  Imagine being one of the throngs of visitors to the temple who happened to come up next to the radiant Anna and heard her words of hope and encouragement- the promised Messiah had come. (Luke 2:36-38)

As I reflect on the pups’ dance and the Christmas story, I find that I only complete part of the dance.  I readily come along others to see and hear what Jesus is doing in their life.  However, when others come up alongside me, I fail to reciprocate.  My preference for listening combined with my dislike for talking about myself prompts me to redirect attention given me onto others. Thus, I allow the moment to share the Lord’s impact on my life slip by.  In reading the Christmas story, I’m concerned that had I been in the shepherds’ or Anna’s shoes I would have kept the experience to myself, storing it deep within my heart and drawing on the memory to bolster my own faith. In doing so, I would have failed to encourage others by sharing the joy and hope received from the encounter with Jesus.

In watching these Labs, I sense the Lord challenging me to complete the dance.  To readily share with those who come up alongside me . . .

How His promises in the Bible fill me with joy and hope.

How His Words in scripture stay the anxious thoughts that worry my mind.

How He gives peace and calm in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.

How He heals the wounds of disappointment. 

How He helps me steer clear of the snares of pride and self-sufficiency.

In closing, I impart this challenge to you.  Be like the shepherds and Anna by sharing with others this Christmas season and in the new year the ways Jesus has touched your life.    

Do you hear what I hear?  Do you see what I see?  Only if I share.

26 thoughts on “The Labrador Dance

  1. G’day Beth, thanks for sharing. Its been so long since i have heard that song, listening to it now as I comment.

    Very cool observation to make through spending time with your beautiful dogs and to share it a Christmas message. Dogs can teach us sooo much. 😉

    Stay connected to the Vine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed both the lesson and the song. So often the Lord uses the visuals found in His creation whether it be our dogs, the sunrise, flowers in the garden, migrating geese, etc to illustrate a point He’s been teaching me as I study the Bible. I’m so grateful that WordPress opens an avenue to share these lessons with others. It is truly all to the Lord’s glory and honor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your heart in sharing this post and how you weave the dogs in with the Christmas story. Your challenge to identify and share how Jesus has impacted my life is an excellent prompt to help me do just that. I’ll try and do that in my upcoming posts on my blog. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth… found your blog this morning. Walk my 5 labs every morning here on our farm – going to begin hearing music now as I watch them
    interact with the creeks, open spaces, and each other. Thank you for helping me see that God’s grace is in those walks, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome! I’m so glad you discovered my blog and appreciate that you took the time to leave a comment. You are richly blessed to have five Labradors by your side. I’m sure they have quite an intricately choreographed dance going on as they explore all the sights and smells on your farm. Enjoy your morning walks with the Lord and your Labs!

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  4. Wonderful message Beth and this is one of my favorite songs. A message to all to share what He shows us to others to let them know there is comfort and safety within His words.
    But whoso hearkeneth
    unto me shall dwell safely,
    and shall be quiet from fear
    of evil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandra. After listening to a variety of singers perform this carol, my daughters and I decided Bing Crosby’s classic rendition remains the best. Thank you so much for sharing the verse from Proverbs 1. I’ve grown so accustomed to reading in the NIV that reading it here in KJV gave the verse new light and richness.

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  5. As usual a beautiful lab story with a sound Biblical lesson, what a blessing to my heart! The thing that occurs to me about our encounters with God is how precious they are, but they are only truly worth anything if they are shared with others. God bless you richly Beth .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alan, your words mean very much and I greatly appreciate the reflection you shared. It brought to mind the parable of the talents and how the man given the one went off, dug a hole, and buried it while the others given five & two invested their talents only to see them gain in value. Our encounters are much like the talents. By sharing (investing) them with other they bear fruit, gaining kingdom value. Thank you for prompting me to dig deeper into this lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous

    This is a message for a Gideon Camp meeting. I passed it along for to our camp president. Would you like what I have? (A copy of the Word of God)
    Love it and so appropriate for the season. Thanks.

    PaB

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Buck

    This is a beautiful and poetic message which serves to remind all of us of God’s wonderful Grace, especially during these unpredictable and anxious days. Find peace in Christ this Christmas season!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like it says somewhere in the Word, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Your dogs look so excited about every new smell, they simply can’t wait to share with each other! What a great idea it is that we should be the same way about our faith in Christ. Every day should be like Christmas morning to us! Blessings.

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    1. Thank you David. Your comment had a duel blessing of sending me into my Bible to find the verse your referenced as well as brought to mind the chorus to a song we often sing in church “So let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Sing of His promises ever more, Pour out your thankfulness, let it overflow Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Both verse and song would be a great addition to this lesson. And yes, our pups do get very excited about every new smell they find. The woods are filled with nose worthy wonders.

      Liked by 1 person

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