Ranging: A Lesson on Proximity

As my Dad and I hike with Adi, he’ll every now and then express his pleasure at how she stays so close- rarely beyond eyesight, most often by our side. Contrast this to the hikes of my childhood with our Brittany Spaniel.  As soon as the leash was unclipped, our Brittany shot off into the woods only to be seen as a passing streak.  She ranged out of sight but always within earshot of my father’s whistle.  Our interaction with her was limited.  Adi choses a much more companionable range.

As I compared my hiking experiences with these two dogs, I realized how often my ranging with the Lord looks more like our Spaniel’s than my Lab’s.  I’m good at beginning and ending my day with the Lord but struggle to stay within a companionable proximity during it.  As our Spaniel was swept away by the drive to find and flush birds, I’m swept away with the busyness of motherhood and teaching.  I found myself asking, “How Lord?  How can I walk closer to You throughout the day?”  As I wrestled with this, scraps of a verse kept tumbling through my mind- pray always, give thanks.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. . .”

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18a

Lord, may my prayers of praise and gratitude keep me in close proximity to You as I walk each step of the day, Amen.

 Adi is checking in to make sure she is still in contact and headed in the same direction as her master.

© 2019-2023, Lessons from a Lab, Beth Alisan.  All Rights Reserved.

32 thoughts on “Ranging: A Lesson on Proximity

  1. Beth Ann, these are so good I really think you need to pitch them as a devotional book. Our Daily Bread Ministries would be a good outlet if you’re not already looking elsewhere. If you want some pro bono help on a pitch letter, I’m game after the holidays. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Nora, Thank you!! I’m really at a lose for words at your comment and your offer. I never had any serious thoughts on publishing in book format. You’ve given me a lot to think about. Let me pray about this and I’ll be in touch after the holidays.


  2. I am reminded of our two Jack Russell dogs….Butch and Buffy. The little female became the alpha, and the moral of the story, after having them for 16 years, is never have two Jack Russell’s under the same roof. They fought each other constantly for dominance. But we did well with them, and like Adi, Butch stayed close whenever he was unleased and ran in the woods and the meadows. We prayed, even for our dogs and their temperament. God is good. Thank you Beth for this beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mary! I love hearing that a lesson has brought back memories of a beloved dog or in this case pair of dogs. It gives a lesson a greater depth of meaning when the reader has had a similar experience like you with Butch. May the Lord bless you greatly during this advent season.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the analogy Beth. Our little dog would be owl food if we let it off the leash. Our little “Buddy”
    has an owl fan club checking him out often through the windows and even following us around while he is on the leash in broad daylight.

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  4. oh this is SO very good……yes, how often do we rush ahead of God, to check the path ahead, when all He really wanted for us to stand still, because He just wanted our time with Him, or to protect us from dangers ahead

    I’m reminded of a quote from the film version of the Lord of the Rings,

    as the company sits pondering which one of 3 doors they should go through, the wise Aragorn simply reminds them that, when there is a guide, they should follow him

    Oh how i need to wait on my Guide!!

    Brilliant post

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andy! You just quoted from one my eldest’s favorite series. A very well applied quote at that. I will add an amen to “I need to wait on my Guide!” I hope you don’t mind if I add a little prayer to this reply.

      Father, I thank you for the healing you have already brought to Andy. Thank you that Your healing hand remains on him as his body continues to recover from this virus. Thank you for the gift of rest You are giving him. May it bear Kingdom fruit in the days, weeks, and months to come. In Jesus name I pray, Amen


      1. I never sa no to prayer


        I think I’m starting to accept the amount of medication I’m on to keepy heart rate stable, and that I’ll likely be in the meds for another 6-8 months depending on how long it takes to see an arythmia specialist

        But I am loving see my family care for me when I’m so limited on what I can do, due to blood thinners

        We all love LOTR………….all 5 of us, and the Hobbit 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a wonderful post to read on this first day of December!!! I love the Bible verse above. it reminds me that I can have casual conversation with God throughout the day. He is interested in all the little things, as well as the big things in our lives. Just as we listen to our children chatter about so many different things, so does God like to hear our ‘chatter’. He never gets tired of listening to us…such a happy thing to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Linda! I always appreciate your comments. They add another layer of richness to a lesson. I like how you put it-“God likes to hear our ‘chatter’.” I think I need to become a chatterbox with Him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jennifer

        I agree with the you should do a book comment! Animal lover or not, people love making connection that explain God’s word. God used parables to teach all the time! I think Animal Lovers especially would be drawn to your beautiful words and descriptions. I call first dips on first copy and signature ❤️😊

        Love you Beth!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate my past dogs in my life to both Adi and Brittany; some never ventured far while others were noses on springs chasing every scent far and wide only betrayed by the rustle of leaves or a tail wag in a bush. Your spiritual truth is simply but beautifully expressed here Beth; how we need to be like Adi and stay close to our Master. Thank you for rekindling fond memories and teaching a much needed lesson, God bless you and your family today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alan, Knowing that this lesson rekindles memories of the beloved dogs of your past makes my heart smile. I love your word picture of “noses on springs.” That describes Summer to a T. Thankfully she won’t venture far from Adi so that helps keep her nose wanderings in check.

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