Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (NIV)
As we traversed through the beginnings of agility class, one of the things that my dogs learned was the command to mark. The instructor used an overturned, flat-bottomed, rubber feed bowl for this exercise. Before running the course, the dogs must learn to put their two front feet on the bowl and to stand and wait patiently for the next command. The mark helps the dogs to focus on the course ahead and on the instructions of their handlers. Agility courses are great fun for dogs, but without concentration, obedience, and direct connection with their masters, they cannot be run successfully.
At the end of the course, there is another spot where the dog once again marks, at which time, they enjoy the satisfaction of appropriate praise and direction from their masters and a well-deserved rest.
This morning when I went down to feed the horses and the goats, I found myself laughing, as well as remembering the importance of the command to mark, as Agnes, the goat, was patiently waiting for her hay, with her two front feet planted atop an overturned feed bowl. A coincidence, perhaps? No, I believe that it was a God moment — God's way of reminding me of the importance of starting and finishing my day on the mark as well.
In many ways, each of our days is an agility course. We never know just what lies ahead. It is, therefore, most important to mark the beginning of the day by taking a few moments to wait patiently upon the Lord in thought, in prayer, and perhaps with a Scripture reading. By so doing, we may consciously focus upon the wonder of the new day, as well as re-establish direct connection with Him Who is able to help us to run the course with both joy and success.
Likewise, at the end of our day, when our course has been run, taking time to mark its completion brings its own satisfaction. It allows us opportunity to be thankful for the presence and guidance of the Lord, to ponder our successes and, yes, perhaps, even our shortcomings of the day. It is a moment to listen and to receive praise and direction, as well as a great way to lay down one's head in peace and embrace the joy of a well-deserved rest.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that each new day is one which You have made and are more than able to competently guide us through. Remind us to mark the beginning and ending of each one with our focus upon You, that we may run with holy direction, success, and satisfaction. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.
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