When we brought Max home, he raced out the door the first chance he got. We finally caught him and put him in our fenced back yard – he dug out. Initially, we gave him the benefit of the doubt, thinking ‘dogs will be dogs.’ Over time, though, we discovered that his desire to escape was more than the normal doggy disobedience. We tried punishment, obedience classes, positive reinforcement, and all manner of hindrances to keep Max contained. In spite of our efforts, Max still found ways to escape. I realize that it was probably impossible for Max to understand our desires and intentions for him or how much we wanted the best for him; but I do think that he knew where he belonged and who loved him. In spite of that knowledge, he could not get past his overwhelming desire to “be free.”
As you read today’s Gospel reading, you find Jesus asking his disciples, “Do you still not understand?” The disciples had lived with him, worked with him, traveled with him and had seen him perform miracles, but they still did not seem to understand all that Jesus was and is. I can imagine how Jesus felt when he asked his disciples that question because I know how I felt when I asked our dog Max that question. What did he not understand about us that would cause him to act the way he did?
If I am honest with myself, I realize that there are times when Jesus looks at me and says, “Do you still not understand?”
I am taking this time of Lent to think about our dog, Max, and to examine my life for those areas where I act or think as if I do not understand all that Jesus is and wants for me. If there is a lack of understanding, then I need to learn. Where I am just following my desires and wants, I need to put those aside and fully embrace all that my master desires for me.
Take a moment today and reflect on the question that Jesus asked his disciples and see if you are fully embracing all that Jesus wants for you.