July 14, 2017
Wag the Dog
And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them. Deuteronomy 28:13
I have rewritten my to do list several times this summer. A few things have been marked off, but several of my original items just keep getting transferred from one list to the next. One is something I have to get done, but I just really don’t want to do it. Another is something I want to get done, but it is a big job and I can’t seem to carve out enough hours in my day to start it. So, I end up spending my days doing lots of little things that don’t seem to add up to anything substantial. I am like a dog chasing its tail going round and round getting nowhere.
As I read Deuteronomy 28:12-14 the expression “wag the dog” came to mind. In the realm of politics, to wag the dog is a tactic used to divert the public’s attention from something that is important to something that is less significant. The lesser event is then catapulted into the limelight diverting attention away from what is more important. In other words, you create a distraction to get your opponent to focus on something else that doesn’t really matter so you can keep him from focusing on what really matters.
I feel like my summer to do list has been several weeks of wagging the dog. The unimportant has distracted me from the important. I find it easier to watch Netflix than to clean out the garage or my closet.
God warns us to be careful of allowing distractions to keep us from following him. Putting God first by following his commands, helps us to lead with our heads and not our tails. It makes us productive. It keeps the important things in the limelight, and not on the back burner. By making our relationship with God our priority and by aligning our life in relationship to him, our focus can be on the most important things. Satan wants to wag the dog. He wants us to believe that things that truly aren’t important urgently need our attention. He wants to shift our focus from the important to the urgent. He wants us to chase our tails.
God’s solution is simple. Stay focused. Don’t look left or right. Don’t get distracted. Be careful to do what he has said to do. Follow him. Don’t let Satan wag the dog.
Things to ponder: What urgent things are keeping you from important things? What is one way you can make God a priority today? What is one thing you can accomplish on your to do list?
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.