The past few days, Joni and I have been staying with her sister in Washington State. One of our daily activities has been exercising her retriever, Molly. She has a ball thrower that makes it easy to pick up and throw a tennis ball, without the need to pick up a slobbery ball.
Molly is a retriever, and she has a strong drive to run after the ball and bring it back. She thoroughly enjoys running after that ball. You can see it in her expression and behavior. If a dog can be said to smile, Molly is smiling when she is returning with the ball. My wife noted that it is difficult to think of anything that brings us as much joy as Molly has in retrieving the ball. In fact, while I was writing this post Molly kept whining and bugging me to go out to play, so I took a break to go out and throw the ball.
Molly is a retriever. That’s how God made her. Well, breeding played a part, but God made the raw materials they had to work with. A retriever is happiest when it is doing what it was designed to do. People are like that too. God made each of us for a purpose, and gave us abilities and experiences to equip us to do what He intended us to do. Our job is to discover what that is, and then to joyfully serve according to the way that God made us. In a fallen world, that is a lot more difficult for us than it is for Molly. But I think that it is still the right goal.