Monday, October 12, 2015

Walking the Dog, Walking with God

My church here in Boulder, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, has this as its mission statement: To openly share creative opportunities to grow in Christ's love through worship, fellowship, service, and learning. The word "creative" is important to us. Our church is filled with people who love using their creativity to get closer to God and to one another. One of the most creative is my pew mate, Rebecca Glancy. (Church members are NOT creative about where we sit: we all sit in the same spots every single week, and my chosen spot is with Rebecca and her family.)

Rebecca writes and directs original Christmas programs for our youth each year. She preaches inspirational guest sermons for our congregation and at twice-a-month services held at the nearby Meridian retirement community. She and I both wrote many puppet scripts for several years for a children's program called "Where the Wild Things Worship." And she also writes delightful devotions which she shares on her blog.

Her current meditation series is called "Walking the Dog, Walking with God," daily reflections on what she's learned about faith, and about herself, from walking her family dog, Lexi. Here's one of my favorites (I always love when people find seemingly contradictory passages of Scripture and probe them to find a deeper underlying truth):

Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” –Luke 10:4
I follow Jesus’s advice when I walk Lexi: we don’t greet anyone on the road. (I don’t take a purse or bag, either, but I do wear sandals in the summertime.) Lexi’s greeting is so enthusiastic as to be perilous. She jumps and writhes around and is likely to knock someone down or tangle him in her leash. Also, she can’t control her bladder when she’s excited. Very few people want to be greeted like that; most neighbors just want to pat a calm, friendly dog on the head as they pass by. So Lexi and I stand aside or cross the street when we see people coming. Jesus tells a story about a priest and a Levite who cross over to the other side of the road (Luke 10:30-35). They are criticized for being unneighborly. Perhaps my neighbors think I’m unneighborly, too. Is Jesus saying contradictory things in Luke 10? I don’t think so. When we walk with God, we’re supposed to focus on him. We’re not supposed to get distracted. Stopping to chat along the road was a distraction for Jesus’s disciples (for Lexi, too). However, we’re not supposed to be so focused on our religious practice (like the priest and the Levite, who feared becoming ceremonially unclean) that we fail to love our neighbors. Walking with God means knowing when to cross over and when to stop.
Dear God, Show me when to cross the road and when to stop when I’m walking with you. Amen
Today Rebecca invited me to contribute a guest meditation, as she knows I'm a fellow faithful walker of our family's little dog Tank. So here it is. And if you ever want a pew to sit in on a Sunday morning in Boulder, St. Paul's is at the corner of Grinnell and Gillaspie, and some creative people will be eager to welcome you.


  1. This is better than I deserve. Thank you SO much, Claudia!

    1. It's totally what you deserve! I love your blog so much, and I'm so glad you're my pew mate and my friend.