The Checkpoint

Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Deuteronomy 10:12-13a – And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees. (NIV)

My dog Sophie is such a joy. When we are walking the trails with my granddaughters in the double stroller, the dogs know that there is always one path that we never take, as it is inaccessible with the carriage. It is a trail that the dogs especially enjoy as it rises up quite high over the rocks and also extends our walk by a good twenty minutes, giving them extra time to explore and run.

But when we don't have the girls with us, choosing the dogs' preferred trail is a definite option, and they know it, as they bound ahead in anticipation. Four of the five dogs normally charge ahead and are well on their way down the path by the time I arrive close to the trailhead. But not Sophie. Sophie always waits until she sees me. She then runs back and stands looking up, questioning whether we are, in fact, going to take that trail today. If I give her the go-ahead, she is off in the blink of an eye. But if the answer is no, she accepts my decision and happily falls in beside me.

In the meantime, when they hear my call, the other dogs have to backtrack down the path and catch up with Sophie and me, as we have proceeded in a different direction.

Backtracking is not limited to my canines, however, as I, too, have not always stopped and waited at the checkpoints of life to see which way God would have me travel with Him. Sometimes, those checkpoints have been in regard to small, everyday decisions which require minor backtracking. But other times, they have been in major ways which required years of backtracking time as well as pain.

How about you? Do you find yourself rushing down pathways that you desire to travel, without respectfully stopping at the checkpoint of a decision to ask God which is the best way to go in regard to His will, His service, and His love — and then, unfortunately, regretting the way that things turn out?

Or are you pretty good about halting at the checkpoints and seeking God's will, but then, when His answer is no, instead of embracing it happily and joyfully proceeding with Him, you accept His decision with bad grace, which in turn spoils that part of your journey?

If you're anything like me, you probably have experience in both of these areas. But this doesn't mean that we can't improve and become more like Sophie, who, of all of my dogs, shows me the most respect, love, service, and obedience, something that I deeply love and respect about her. For they are qualities that I hope and pray that we are all learning to exhibit more faithfully daily toward God, qualities that not only will bring us more joy in our relationship with Him, but also will bring Him more joy in His relationship with us.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are always patient and loving with us, even when we fail to stop at the checkpoints of life to seek Your will and way for us. Remind, enable, and encourage us through Your Holy Spirit to continue to grow in faithfulness in regard to respecting, obeying, loving, and serving You with all our heart and soul. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thanks, Lynne, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.

    What a lovely illustration for all of us as we seek to follow our Lord. Blessings,

    Yes. Good one! Thank you. I have a hard time waiting till the Lord say ” okay, now”.

    Good day, Lynne! Another lovely read. Thank you.

    Dear Lynne,
    This is a great illustration, and good food for thought.

    Great advice, Lynne. Sophie sounds like a wonderful dog.
    Thanks, and God Bless!

    Thanks for sharing Lynne.
    It’s good to serve the Lord in obedience.

    Thank you, Lynne, for another very interesting story to illustrate the fact that we all need to be more like Sophie.

    A wonderful devotional today, Lynne. Such an easy comparison for each one of us to learn from. God bless you and Sophie.

    Good morning Lynne,
    What an excellent example of respect, love, service, and obedience. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Thank you, Lynne, for your devotional. I am amazed at the variety of experiences that can inspire a devotional.
    We are not walking much with the dog here except in the early morning. It is Texas hot now.

    Such a joy, Lynne, to read your words today of experience and loving care today. I am always SO happy when you are writing about your dear dogs, calling up memories of mine. Thank you always for sharing your faith and hope.

    Dear Lynne
    I just love the way you paralleled Sophie’s checking with you and obeying to our relationship with God! What a visual… one that helps us realize we shouldn’t go ‘bounding off’! Thanks for sharing this!

    Hi Lynne,
    I am always encouraged by your devotionals! I feel like I have a connection with you as well, aside from being sisters in Christ. I was born and raised in Alberta, moved to BC, and have been in this area ever since.

    I am not a dog lover (due to allergies) but this devotional was so meaningful, I imagined you all out on the trail and faithful Sophie waiting for you at the crossroads!
    Although I’ve been a follower of Jesus for more years than I care to think, I have had to learn over and over that my role IS to follow.
    Bless your ministry of inspiring others to be persistent!

    Thank you for today’s devotional it is a goodly reminder for us to stop and listen for God’s direction as to which path we are to take. We need to ask and listen and then to take the action He is calling us to take. Sometimes we just have to wait at the crossroad for a while until He says it is time to move forward in whichever direction, He calls us to go.

    Greetings Lynne,
    Thank you for another special devotional. I always enjoy reading about the adventures you have with your little ones and your pets. You do a good job of relating the happenings to the same way God works in our lives and how important it is that we stop and seek His direction in our lives. We need be patient in waiting for the Lord’s answer and guidance instead of forging ahead doing our own thing. He is the one who has the right plan for us.
    Blessings for your special writings.

    How I would love to meet your Sophie!
    As for checkpoints, very risky to not do this.
    I don’t usually get an answer. But suddenly will find myself going in a direction I never thought of and it is right.
    I know then God is “on it”.
    Right now, many things are on hold, awaiting direction.
    This I am not good at.

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