READ PART 1 HERE
For as long as I can remember, my family has always been one of those who keep a variety of pets around. We’ve had cats, birds, roosters (yes, roosters—my dad’s!), bunnies, and of course, dogs. Funny, we never had fish. Maybe cause we always seemed to eat them. But for the rest of our furry companions we got to know them pretty well. We named them, fed them, played with them, and pretty much lived with them. And over time we got to learn the personality and character of our pets.
One in particular was a stunning Spitz dog—our Siberian Husky, Sasha. Sasha came from Australia and was a three legged dog. When we got her, I, who was nine at the time, even knew immediately that this dog was different than any other breed we’ve had. Besides her striking blue eyes, exquisite silver and white coat, and her large, wolfish frame, there was her “vibe”. I didn’t understand it at the time because as a child, I really wasn’t into reading books and scientific research that exhausted the character and traits of the four-legged constitution.
When I was finally an adult living by myself, and with my living situations permitted, I planned to raise a pet. Since Sasha, Huskies became my favorite breed of dogs and so I wanted to get another Spitz. Though still in the Spitz family, I adopted an American Eskimo instead. But still it remained strong—my love for the Husky. And because of that love, I did buy a book about them, (call me Nerd and I’d own it proudly!) and spent hours researching and watching video clips on their traits, physical characteristics, and intelligence. I didn’t walk away an expert but I was determined that I was going to be “parent” to another Husky one day!
I learned that truly the Husky has its peculiarities, ones that as a child I questioned and never fully understood—like why it seemed I was the one trying to please the dog like I was its royal subject, instead of the other way around, unlike how it was with our German Shepherds (these guys are quick to please their owners!). This regal “vibe” was actually a behavior, a usual trait that Huskies carry. But there was also another particular vibe Sasha exuded… a mood…
Originally produced by the hunter-gatherer driven Chuckhi people, Siberian Huskies were literally bred for a purpose—to work. They descended from the original sled dogs. They are active, resilient, and intelligent—so intelligent that they’d try to manipulate you. Therefore, when you train them, you can’t give them room to outsmart you and you must firmly assert yourself as Alpha of the pack or you’ll reap the consequences. Huskies will run and run, and keep running, until they will either drop dead or till you make them stop. Because of this, Balto and Togo, two lead Huskies for their teams became a legend for running a total of a 91-mile journey in a dangerous mission that included crossing the deadly Norton Sound to deliver the diphtheria serum to help save the infected population of Nome, Alaska, in 1925.
Ok... by now you’re probably wondering what any of this has got to do with God’s calling, like the title suggests? Well, my friends, I thank you for tracking with me for over a page now! You’re probably not interested in reading about my childhood furry companions and my nerdy obsession with Huskies and I truly get that. But I said what I said to arrive at this point: I witnessed for myself what would happen to a dog when it’s missing out on its calling—it wastes away. That “mood” that I was talking about… Well, that was Sasha fading away. Because of a freak accident of somebody crushing her foot with a door when she was a puppy, Sasha became a three-legged Husky that could no longer run like she was bred and designed to do. It was heartbreaking. Her kind of breed would literally turn ruinous, hence the many Huskies in shelters deteriorating because owners didn’t have a clear understanding just how to properly train them. When that innate and primitive something inside of them is not fulfilled—a thirst where only purpose and calling could satiate—they either become destructive, waste away, or both. And that’s just the reality about dogs.
I truly wonder what happens to us then when we’re not operating according to the calling, design, and purpose that God crafted for us…
Have you ever seen a team of Huskies running through ice and snow? Man, they are glorious! And so are we when we are living out what God calls us to do. Except this glory is not one that was reserved for Creation, but the kind that only we who are created in the very image of the triune God can carry.
Perhaps you’ve been restless. Frustrated. Sleep had slipped through your grasp. Or perhaps you’re just going through the motions, heart unstirred, and soul unmotivated. Does something feel like it’s wasting away? That something’s just not quite right…
Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s got to do with a divine calling that has remained unanswered. Just like I am a fan of the Siberian Husky, God’s a fan of you. Obviously it can’t compare, and I don’t mean to insult you, but I hope you truly get it—God really is your number one biggest fan. He created you! He knows your traits and characteristics, every nook and cranny of your heart, every complex layer of your soul, even the singular voiceprint of your laughter! And the seemingly illusive fulfillment that we’ve been chasing after can only be found in responding to His call.
It’s as old as Genesis. God calls to Adam, “Where are you?” and He’s still calling today. I pray that you answer instead of hide. Answer, instead of run. David said it, that even if we make our bed in hell just to flee from Him, He is there. So when God calls, what other proper response is there but to answer and follow?
Did we really think that we can actually hide and outrun God?
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and You right hand shall hold me.”
Rebecca Ticoalu serves as the director of Wellsprings Creative, the worship creative ministry of Jesus Reigns International and Abundant Grace Christian Church located in NJ. She is the founder of LOVE OUT LOUD, a love movement fighting against slavery and poverty through artistic and creative expressions.