We used to have a border collie named Aggie. One time I heard Aggie in the backyard growling at something.
We live in the country, so wild animals would sometimes come around the house and Aggie would bark at them. But this was different.
I ran to the back door and stared into the darkness. Aggie was running furiously in tight circles, snarling and growling at what looked like a couple of coyotes. I ran back inside to get the Q Beam, which was basically a giant, handheld spotlight. It took me a minute or so to find it.
Finally I dashed outside and shined it on Aggie. Sure enough, two coyotes were trying to circle her.
I yelled, “Amy get the gun!”
I was amazed at the natural agility of a border collie. She moved quicker and turned faster. They growled and snarled, but they couldn’t corner her.
Where was Amy? Where was the gun?
By now the coyotes had grown nervous under my light, and when they saw me they started to run away.
I knew I needed to make sure those coyotes didn’t ever come back. Who knows what might happen if I wasn’t here to scare them off?
“AAAAAAAMMMMMYYYY get the gun! HURRY!”
The coyotes headed off into the dark. After they were long gone, Amy appeared at the back door and handed me something.
“A BB gun! When I say, ‘get the gun!’ I mean the shotgun!”
Amy said, “Well, I don’t know where the shotgun is, and you need to quit yelling at me.”
“I’m not yelling,” I yelled. “I’m talking in my Emergency Voice.”
She said, “Well I don’t like it,” and she went back inside.”
A few weeks later, I was sitting at my desk looking out the back window. Aggie was outside sitting close to the house. Her eyes were cold and stern, staring at the woods. I smiled and thought, “She will never get caught off guard by coyotes again. She’s always been smart, but now she’s watchful.”
God showed me something in that dog. We need to develop that same kind of sober, watchful mindset.
Be discerning of situations where the temptation could overtake you. Know your limitations and weaknesses. Be careful with your strengths. Often that’s where you are most likely to let your guard down.
Here’s a promise:
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)