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COLUMN: Walking the dog

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By Jon Rohr

As some of you know, I have a pretty big dog and every day she gets walked three or four times. It doesn’t matter what the weather or how we are feeling, Molly gets her walk. One day last week I walked her wearing a t-shirt, a regular shirt, a sweater, a hooded sweatshirt, and a coat, gloves and a scarf. It almost takes me longer to get dressed than to take her for a walk.
In the summer, I come in drenched with sweat. On rainy days I try my umbrella and if it is too windy I just hope my jacket is waterproof enough. But every day, several times a day, Molly gets her walk. The weather doesn’t matter, and neither does my health.
Thankfully my wife gives me a break when I am really sick, but the truth is most of the time, if I have a cold, I walk the dog. If my back is out, I walk the dog. If I am coughing up a lung, the dog still has to be walked. I know if you have young children at home you have the same thing, no matter what, you have to take care of the kids. On the other hand, you probably don’t have to take the kids out in all kinds of weather just so they can use the bathroom.
What is my point? Simply this, in good times or bad, in health or sickness, in good weather or pouring rain, some things still need to be done. Walking the dog, taking care of the kids, taking care of ailing parents, whatever it may be, there are things that we do no matter what.
But what about our relationship with the Lord? Is it “no matter what?” In Psalms, David tells us, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice” (Psalm 34:1–2 NIV).
To extol the Lord means to exalt his name, to praise him. David says to do it always. Rain or shine, sickness or health, riches or poverty, give praise to God.
So does God get a part of your day every day? Dogs and kids, bosses and clients, friends and family all demand our time. The kids will yell, the dog will bark, your boss will look over your shoulder, and God’s quiet call can be drowned out by all the other busy-ness of the day.
So today, make the Lord a priority. Maybe offer a prayer while you are walking the dog. Maybe after you put the kids to bed at night and before you collapse yourself, you could just spend a moment or two praying or reading his word, a moment or two when God is your priority. He is always there for you, rain or shine, and he loves you. Take some time to know him better.