Substitutes

>> Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It was time to do laundry. As I gathered the dirty clothes, I noticed my pajama top had been removed from the stack ready for washing … and was now across the room. Weird. The minute my hand touched the fabric I knew something wasn’t right. It was wet. Upon examination I discovered a large hole.  

Charlie.  

Charlie is such a good dog … but he loves to chew. He had lived with us for a year and never chewed on any clothing before. I completed my laundry duties and dropped the whole issue. It was too late to discipline him now. Apparently he just had a random urge at that moment.  

As the days passed, I began to notice little pieces of hard black rubber on the floor. I searched through the house to see what might be coming apart … and even extended the searching to the yard. I came up empty.  

This morning, after eating my breakfast, there … under my chair … was a little piece of hard black rubber. Where were these pieces coming from? I’m not sure what drew my attention to my house shoes. They had a hard rubber bottom. And sure enough, the whole toe area on one of them was missing. I keep my house shoes on a lower shelf in our walk-in closet …not exactly just lying around.  

Charlie.  

What was wrong with him? He had gone out of his way to find my house shoes. As I pondered what had changed in his life I realized we had deprived this chewing dog of his toy bones … one that we kept in each room … to satisfy his chewing need. They had been destroyed by his strong teeth … and I had found no replacements at the store. Our out-of-town daughter had purchased some new ones for him and I was meeting her in a few days. He could do without that long, couldn’t he?  

Apparently not.  

Humans are like that. As a foodoholic, I understand the need to search for a substitute for that three-layer chocolate cake. People are constantly searching for alternatives for their addictions. Others seek a replacement for their spouse … one that will make them happy.  

Just as Charlie used my pajamas and house shoes for his need to chew, we (as human beings) have a need … an empty spot … that we are born with. Some people search their whole lives … using one substitute after another … trying to fill that empty spot.  

Christ is the only answer. Substitutes just won’t do.  

“That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn't see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that." John 3:36 (MSG)

  

2 comments:

Joanne Sher April 11, 2012 at 6:07 AM  

Great lesson, Joy - and I was NOT expecting it. Enjoyed the read very much!

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