Ice Dogs

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Mark 4:19 – But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (NIV)

I have just finished watching a documentary on television called "Ice Dogs", where an Englishman, Benedict Allen, learned to steer a sledge with a pack of huskies. I was transfixed by his willingness to risk his own life, as well as those of the dogs, as he clung on to the sledge. This was all in a failed attempt to cross the middle of the Bering Strait.

The widened whites of his eyes betrayed fear as he filmed himself ten days away from the nearest human, at a time when he had misplaced his pack of dogs, sledge, and provisions in a merciless wilderness of sea-ice and snow.

He lived to tell the tale, because, at the moment of last hope, he came upon the dogs waiting for him. They had waited for him to come back and take them to safety! His re-union with the dogs was touching, as, with a smile, he returned to the comparative safety of a town. He had demonstrated to himself and the viewers the achievement of his goal, that of being able to master a pack of dogs on his own. This was a picture in stark contrast to that of a few weeks previously, when the dogs had just ignored his voice and followed the man in front!

It made me ponder about what is in control of our lives, in the relationships among our body, our emotions, and our spirit. How are we being steered? Do our emotions and desires respond to the call of our spirit as it clings on at the back? Does the body listen to what the spirit says? Or are we out of control, being led astray by the whims of desire into some hostile environment? In what direction are we going today?

Praise God that we have a Saviour who can rescue us, who can guide us from within by his Holy Spirit, and who can give us the mind of Christ.

Luke 15:4-7 – Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, today, when we decide that we no longer want to be led astray, hear our prayer and bring us home to your safety. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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