My parents have an Australian cattle dog named Magdalene, Magdi for short. This dog is amazing. She loves chasing tennis balls, and Dad got a used tennis racquet just to hit them farther and faster for her. I’ve seen her jump, with all four feet at least three feet off the ground, to catch a ball. I’ve seen her literally do a back flip in her effort to get at a ball that took an unexpected hop. I’ve seen her catch a ball over her shoulder like a football receiver. There is a reason I gave her the nickname, “The Amazing Wonder Dog.”
I have also seen her land flat on her face going all out for a ball. I’ve seen her jump for a ball, twist wildly in the air to get her mouth on the ball, and land on her tailbone. She is now seven years old and is more than a little creaky. It is an obvious effort for her to stand up. She walks with a weird, sideways gait. She still wants to chase balls, but we have to be careful now not to bounce the balls so she will have no reason to jump. Her wild abandon in her desire to get those balls has cost her. Somehow I think that if she knew as a pup that chasing those balls would leave her arthritic, she still would have chased them. She loves it that much.
She makes me think of Paul. He loved the Lord so much that he threw himself into it with a wild abandon. Read 2 Cor. 11 to see the punishment he took in his overwhelming desire to serve the Lord. (By the way, that list was written before he was arrested by the Jews in Jerusalem, turned over to the Romans, and shipped to Rome. During that trip he was again shipwrecked.) But it is obvious that Paul didn’t care about the beating his body was taking in his service to the Lord. He loved the Lord that much, and looked to his reward, which he knew was worth the cost. 2 Cor. 4:7 “For our light affliction, which is for the moment works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of Glory.”
Do we throw ourselves into our service to the Lord with a wild abandon not caring what the earthly consequences might be? Or do we hold back? Do we fail to speak to others about the Lord because we’re afraid people will think us odd? Do we fail to help others in need because we want to invest that money for our retirement 30 years from now? Do we hold back to reduce earthly consequences? Or do we throw our whole beings into his service? There is no earthly reason you can’t be an amazing wonder Christian!
Romans 8:18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward.
2 Timothy 4:7-8. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give to me at that day. And not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.