What a Dog and Instagram Taught Me about My Relationship with God

I was on a walk this afternoon with our Little Dog. He's a tiny guy who will sit in your lap all day unless the front door is open, in which case he will escape and run for miles like the child of a rabbit and a white-tailed deer. While I was blissfully enjoying the sunshine and farmland on our walk, the Little Dog came across a small animal, broke the leash, and was off to the races leaving me in his dust.

Deep breath. This dog seriously has nine lives so I wasn't worried, just annoyed and a little hungry (close to the "hangry" point, if you know what I mean).

I ran back to the house and jumped in the car to track him down through our small town. My first instinct was to pull out my cell phone and call one of The Three. But I got my mom's answering machine, my sister was at an appointment, and my husband was out of town.

So I prayed instead. My conscience nudged me that God was my fourth choice, last in line to call when I needed help.

This evening I settled in to a beautiful scene. (Yes, the Little Dog was safely back at home and sent to his room if you were wondering). No need to cook dinner since my husband was still out of town so I decided to light some candles, make a cup of tea, and settle in to my favorite chair with the second-story country view out the windows and a pile of books next to me.

It was Instagram-worthy, you guys.

So I pulled out my phone again, doing all sorts of acrobats to get the perfect angle so I could share this relaxing, picturesque moment with everyone. But to no avail. My phone couldn't capture the moment and view (and definitely not the deliciousness of chocolate hazelnut tea).

I saw the crucifix hanging above the bed and smiled. The only two who would enjoy this Instagram-moment were me and God.

As I sipped my tea, I reflected on the day, specifically these two instances. Both times God had been at the end. He was not the first One I called. He was second fiddle (or fourth!). In a moment of crisis, I looked to other people first. In a moment of joy, I wanted to share it online. 

For shame. I was convicted by this realization. God wasn't first in my life-- in joy or in distress.

Here is this almighty Father, who waits to hear from me and can do all things. The One who says, "He will call on me and I will answer Him; I will be with him in trouble" (Psalm 91:15). Yet instead I was calling on frail, imperfect humans when I needed help. 

Here is this gentle, loving Father, who wants to simply be with me, who smiles when I smile. Yet in a moment of joy, I sought to share it with an online world instead of the One who was right beside me. The One who "takes delight" in us and "rejoices over us in singing" (Zephaniah 3:17). 

Do you struggle with this too? Let's pray today that we can re-prioritize our relationship with God so it is truly first in our life. Let's enjoy the gift of a Perfect, Infinite God who cares about the smallest details of our day, good or bad. Be on the lookout for a moment of distress where you can run to your Father with your needs. Watch for a time of joy that you can smile up to the Heavens in thanksgiving and know He is smiling, too. 

But if you ever see a little brown dog running like there's no tomorrow...it's okay to call me first.