“put off… your former conduct”
Part of our Christmas excitement this year included a few days out of town with family. In San Antonio, Texas. We have visited them before; they have a lovely, comfortable home with room enough for us to each have our own room. Well, my sweetie and I are together, of course, as it should be.
What’s different about this trip, though, that’s different even from our last vacation, is our new puppy, Calypso. We adopted her in July, and this is our first time going away from her. It was a little hard to do, more so than our last dog. Our last dog was older, and several years in a row, any time we went away, we boarded her with our vet. It was not exactly exciting for her, just rows of cages and they took for a walk two or three times a day… But she wasn’t a dog that liked people very much. She wouldn’t have let someone come and feed her or walk her, and we wanted her to be in a place that had experience with scared dogs.
But Calypso is younger ~ about eight months old ~ and much more energetic. She would have let one of our friends in the house to feed and play with her, but she also might have gotten into mischief while alone in the house, and we felt that leaving her in her crate, or in a cage at the vet’s, would be too hard for her.
So we went with a new option. We have some friends who own a pet day care, so we took her there. She slept in her own crate, in her own personal room, and then during the day she was in the play room with the other dogs her size. And best of all, we got to watch her whenever we wanted, via webcam. The kids just loved it. It was so entertaining to log on and watch our puppy frolicking and playing and interacting with the other puppies.
And it was interesting to see all those dogs. Even in the small dog room, there were small, medium, and large versions of small dogs. Some black, some white, some brown, and a seemingly unlimited number of those colors mixed. Sometimes there was so much movement, it was hard to pick out our Calypso from the crowd. But then we’d catch a glimpse of her tail ~ black with just a tip of white; or her profile ~ a nose like a fox, with ears that stand mostly straight up, but flop down about halfway. Or we’d see her bouncing ~ that dog’s got a vertical leap like none I’ve ever known! The fun thing was, we know our girl by her looks, but also by her personality.
That detailed knowledge is just how well God knows us. More, of course, because He can see our hearts and minds. We don’t have that ability with Calypso, of course, but because she’s rather a simple-minded beast, we pretty much know what she’s thinking at any given time. Like, if I’m eating a piece of bacon, and she’s following me around, I can be pretty sure that it’s the bacon she’s interested in, not me.
We’re very simple-minded creatures, compared to God. So I’m pretty sure He can read us like a book… But really, He doesn’t have to, because He just knows us.
And here’s what He knows: You are created unlike anyone else, and your characteristics, be they gifts or flaws, are ingrained in you. This makes flaws harder to expunge. They’re almost like an addiction ~ more than just spiritual; more than just a matter of willpower. I think this is what He means by “new creation” or “putting off the old”.
It can also make it harder for us to spot our own gifts or flaws. Like a mole we hardly even notice, or have stopped thinking about. But they need to be noticed: the flaws to eliminate; the gifts to shine.
We ask Him to search us and know us. And that applies to the good as well as the bad. So ask Him what He sees, and then ask Him what He wants you to do about it.