The reason we’re so bad is that we’re trying so hard to be good.

-Steve Brown 

Have you seen these invisible fences they have for dogs?  I have to imagine that an invisible fence would make a good candidate to ruin your life if you were a dog. 

You can’t see these things driving around your subdivision because they are invisible after all. They have become quite popular and it’s no wonder—what a great concept.  We had a dog some years ago that was a prime candidate for the invisible fence thing.   We didn’t end up getting one for several reasons and looking back I’m not so convinced our dog wouldn’t have run right through the thing no matter how many shocks it would have zapped him with.  Max and I were pals on day one, we were two peas in a pod.  Like me, he liked to move around and he wasn’t much excited about being told he needed to conform.  

The spacious yard we had so kindly provided for our new dog was not even close to sufficient for him.  I guess it didn’t help that we had one of those stupid metal stakes you put in the ground so your dog can run around in circles until he makes you so dizzy watching him that you need to scarf down a box of Dramamine to handle it. 

It didn’t help that Max was a bird dog either.  He’d just about rip off anyones arm that dare try to walk him.  Even with one of those cruel choke collars on, he was a terror.  It might explain the pain I have in my shoulder lately and it’s been almost five years since I saw the crazy dog.  If there was something within a mile to chase—you might as well have attached yourself to a telephone poll.  Max even decided one spring that he wanted to redecorate our backyard with crater’s he decided to dig—our yard resembled the moon when he was done with it.

I felt sorry for Max.

Looking back now, I think obedience school or Ritalin would have only made Max more frustrated.  The reality is, we got the wrong dog to fit the bill.  What we had in mind was a nice little pet for our kids.  It didn’t work out that way.  Sitting still and taking orders wasn’t the dog’s strong suit.  And I’m not sure that dog was even capable of it.  He was a dog after all, and dogs aren’t made to be couped up in an 4′ by 2′ cubicle all day long.   Invisible fences have to make dogs resentful I figure, I mean how fun is to see a female two lots over you’d like to frolic with and have a straight shot at her and then all of a sudden you remember that you have a stupid invisible fence that you can’t jump over? 

Dogs were made to run free without a leash tied around their neck when you think about it.

I think it’s reasonable to say that religion is a lot like the invisible fence thing.

While we were in conference we were infiltrated by spies pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are. Their ulterior motive was to reduce us to their brand of servitude. We didn’t give them the time of day. We were determined to preserve the truth of the Message for you.   (Galatians 2:4-5, The Message Bible)

When we set up rules to keep and all sorts of regulations in regards to our life in Jesus we end up serving the same purpose an invisible fence serves; the moment no one is looking or the fences come down we are off and running to some place we have no business going.

Invisible fences aren’t for us Jesus-followers.  Come to think of it, they aren’t much good for dogs.