I was walking down a street the other day on one of my walks. My goal was to go to the end of the street and then turn around. As I neared my goal, suddenly to my left there was a dog in a tree. He was barking at me because I was on the sidewalk by his house. He continued to bark the entire time I walked by and then again as I returned. photo by valtercirillo, courtesy of pixabay
First things first, how did the dog get up in the tree? I don’t know. There is a six foot wooden fence on the side of his house so I could not see how he got access. I’m guessing he stood on the top of his dog house and then climbed up the tree and stood in the crook of the tree as he performed his guard dog duties.
I wondered if he was going to jump over the fence and come at me. He was not tethered and there was nothing stopping him from making the leap. He didn’t though; he just continued to bark and be as annoying as possible. So the next time I want to walk that way, I have three choices: 1. Turn back before I meet my goal 2. Go to the other side of the street and finish my walk or 3. Walk by and listen to him harass me again.
The dog in the tree reminded me of the enemy of our souls. 1 Peter 5 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
Many times when we are near reaching a goal we have set, we experience a setback. Something (or someone) seems to be trying to stop us from reaching that goal. We have worked so hard, and at the very end, when it should be smooth sailing, we experience the most resistance. Why is that and what should we do?
We first need to know that the enemy of our souls does not want us to meet our goals. He will do whatever he can to stop us. Sometimes, he is like a roaring lion; i.e. he makes lots of noise to scare us away from our goal. What can we do when we experience resistance and setbacks?
Just like I had three choices when listening to the dog in the tree, I again have three choices: 1. I can give up and quit trying to reach my goal (Bad choice) 2. I can try to navigate another way forward to meet the goal or 3. I can move forward in spite of the noise and the resistance and just keep pressing on until I meet the goal.
The noise and the resistance wants to stop us. We must not let it, even if it means that it will take a while longer to meet the goal. We must press on and finish our goal. When we look back, we will see that the effort will have been worth it.
We must realize that any time we embark on a worthwhile task, we might experience resistance. That does not mean we are on the wrong path, it may be an indicator that we are on the right path. We just need to keep moving forward. There will always be a barking dog in the tree, we just need to decide how to deal with it.