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Mutts Gone Nuts  

Mutts Gone Nuts.

That's how they billed the evening.  Five dogs—all rescued from animal shelters and trained by Scott and Joan Houston and Sam Valle—delighted the audience with their antics and agility. 

We smiled as the dogs scampered on rotating barrels.

We chuckled as these furry friends danced on two legs. 

Then trainer Samantha Valle—who has appeared on Kelly and Ryan—introduced us to the greyhound that holds the record for the highest jump of any dog in the world.

But the thing that blew my mind was watching one of the dogs jump rope and then do Double Dutch jump roping!  I can't imagine how long that training took.  Amazing to think that these dogs have gone from shelter to show biz. 

Remarkable as the performance was, I couldn’t help but notice the immediate rewards doled out to each dog after every trick.  Tasty snacks of some kind. I'm sure the dogs are plenty good-natured (and certainly hard working). But, they did not do what they did out of a sense of animal altruism. They did it for the treats.

As those mutts finished their performance, I felt a gnawing in my soul (and no, it wasn’t a dog!).  Exactly how much like those dogs are you and I? I’m not speaking of our agility—I’ve never been good at jump rope!  I’m asking—do we do what we do for God only because of the “treats” we expect Him to give us?

Do we spin and jump through hoops only for the hope of an immediate reward, a spiritual buzz of some sort?  Or worse, do we secretly do what we do merely to keep up appearances?  Are we trying to impress fellow Christians (in a “golly-it-wasn’t-much”) fake humility?

There is nothing wrong with the hope of eternal rewards. We should be thinking about them, even motivated by them.

But there is everything wrong with a soul that demands instant pay-outs, instant affirmation, instant treats.  God forbid we try to hammer grace into gratification on the anvil of our need.

 

Lord, help me do what I do because I love you.

Not so that you’ll give me something more.

Amen!

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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