The Parable Of The Old Dog (The Ginger Snap Story)

old dog

The DiscipleMD

Over the course of years I have had the opportunity to interview literally thousands of church members and had many wonderful and uplifting conversations with them.  On occasion someone will tell me that they are bored with the lessons taught at church as they have heard the same lessons on the same principles over and over. I tell them about a conversation that my brother once had with my father. It went something like this:

“Dad, you grew up in a relatively poor family. In school, how did the rich kids stand out from the poor kids? His reply, “Well for one thing, the rich kids had cake or some other nice pastry for dessert, while us poorer kids got ginger snap cookies every day. They were the cheap cookies that were stored in a big open barrel at the local store.” My brother than asked, “I suppose that after a while you got really sick of those ginger snap cookies and didn’t eat them!” “Well,” my Dad replied, “It’s like the story of the old dog. The master put out the same old scraps every night for the aging dog to eat. The dog would meander over and sniff the food, indignantly turn his nose up and walk away. But come morning, the dog bowl was always empty!”

There is a great lesson to be learned from what I call “The Parable of the Old Dog.”  The old dog understands that even if he is tired of eating the “same old scraps”, if he doesn’t, he will die. Mortal bodies of both beast and man are created that way. They must be replenished in order for them to continue living. We all understand that to be a physical law.

Like our physical bodies, the spiritual body needs to be fed on a daily basis in order to survive. Sometimes that sustenance seems at times “bland.” The spiritual meal we are being offered at church may seem to us like “leftovers.” “I’ve heard this before,” we might catch ourselves saying. However, it is vitally important for us to replenish our spiritual souls. Without attendance at our meetings, reading the scriptures, praying and listening to inspiring talks and stories our spiritual bodies will eventually die. In those times when we struggle, let us remember the wisdom of the old dog. Sometimes he didn’t like the food placed before him, but he was wise enough to eat it anyway. So the next time we feel bored at a meeting or think that we don’t need to attend a meeting because we have “heard it before”, I hope we will remember the parable of the old dog and go replenish our souls. Jesus said,”…I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst”. (John 6:35)

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