When there are barking dogs all around you

A high school basketball team was behind by one point with just seconds left in the game.

So they came up with a clever play. They had possession of the ball. When the referee blew the whistle to resume play, they threw the ball inbounds to a player close to the basket. But at the exact same time, all the other players immediately dropped to their knees and started barking like dogs, loudly!

The defending team was so surprised that they just stood there, stunned. As a result, the player with the ball—who was standing unguarded right beside the basket—easily scored the basket and got the two points. They pulled ahead to win the game.*

You’ve got to admit that it was pretty clever.

Is it just me, or is this kind of like the world we live in? There can be so much crazy distraction—so many ‘barking dogs,’ so to speak—that we just stand around baffled, not sure what to do.

As a result, we can miss the life God invites us to live because we’ve been bamboozled by a hurricane of advertising, envy, busyness, and social media distraction.

In light of all this, the author of Psalm 119 has a liberating and correcting perspective: “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (Psalm 119:15, ESV).

When we meditate on God’s precepts and fix our eyes on his ways, we start to immunize ourselves against the illness of unworthy distractions.

So today, ask yourself this: Am I pursuing God’s ways—or unworthy distractions?

Life is short. In the scope of eternity, you only have seconds left. And there are barking dogs all around you. Choose well.

“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”

By Matthew Ruttan

–*As told in: Larry Osborne, Sticky Leaders (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2016), 23-24.)

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