About four years ago our son Mark adopted a rescue dog. This poor pup had simply turned up in the fenced yard of the shelter one morning. He suffered from a broken leg (probably from being dropped over the high fence in the middle of the night), kennel cough, and intestinal parasites. He had been in sad shape but the shelter had taken good care of him. By the time we saw him at the pet store on adoption day he was happy and energetic.
After Mark did a little begging of his own we gave in and said he could adopt the chihuahua-terrier mix. Mark named the dog Remi – short for “Remington” – and worked hard to train him and teach him to obey. He’s a smart dog and learned most things quickly. It wasn’t long before he was potty-trained and could sit and stay on command.
But even four years later, Remi still has trouble with one area. He’s prone to wander. If Remi gets the chance to escape through the front door or out the back gate we have to chase him down. If he has access to a wide open space, more than likely he won’t come if you call. He was born to run.
I know the feeling. Like Remi, I am prone to wander. Prone to leave the straight path God has marked out for me. Prone to drift away from my Master. From self-righteous attitudes and selfish desires to lack of discipline and wrong motivations, in my flesh I am weak. I need Him constantly and completely. But left to my own devices, I just may run.
The words of a particular hymn keep popping into my head. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was penned by Robert Robinson in 1758. Here’s the fourth verse of this loved, well-known hymn:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
I too pray that God will bind my wandering heart to Him with His good fetter. I pray He will take my heart, seal it, and protect it for eternity. I know I will not be perfect this side of heaven, but I do desire to be more like Jesus tomorrow than I am today. Then on that great day, when Jesus returns, I will be “freed from sinning.” I will then “see His lovely face” (verse four of “Come Thou Fount”).
Do you ever feel “prone to wander?” How do you actively stay close to “the God you love?”