About 3 1/2 years ago, my wife and I brought home our first pet together. This was her first pert ever, and one of many I had grown up with. I have always loved having pets. Growing up, we had more cats than dogs, and I considered myself a cat person. Then we brought home Zeus. I have never had a pet like him. He is an all black dachshund that is 18 pounds (and 17 pounds of stubborn).
No other pet I have ever had has meant remotely what Zeus has to me. I am now firmly in the dog person camp - and will never have another cat (a large reason is because my wife is allergic & thinks they are plain evil). Anyway, I had heard nothing but good about Marley & Me, and picked it up at the library on a whim last week. I loved this book. If you have a dog, this is a fun book which will remind you of your dog, remind you why you love your dog and make you glad you do not own Marley!
John Grogan basically tells his life story in this memoir of him and his dog. He talks about growing up with a "perfect" dog and then being newly married and wanting to have a dog. He writes about his family life and the reader is really engaged in his story. You read of love, loss, happiness, and depression. Through it all, Marley is there and a source of comfort, dismay and love.
Much of this book reminds me of Zeus, and much of my relationship with Zeus reminds me of my relationship with God.
Zeus is always happy to see me. Whether I have been gone a week or two, or 1/2 an hour, Zeus makes a huge deal about seeing me. This is the way it is with Jesus also. And in the same way that I don't want to be away from Zeus too often, I am always the worse off by lacking communion with Jesus - but he always accepts me back and rejoices over me (see Zeph. 3.17,19). There is a joy I have in being with and watching my "little man", as I sometimes call him. Jesus, I am sure, feels the same way - if not more so - about us.
My wife hates when I take Zeus for walks without his leash. Zeus loves it. I have noticed that when he is leashed, he is almost always pulling against me, in one direction or another. However, if I walk with him off the leash, he stops and sniffs a bit here and there, runs up ahead and off the the side, but more often than not stays close and pn the same path I am on. I have often felt the same way in my life with Jesus. If I feel trapped and stuck, I usually get more stubborn and try to force my will, but if I feel the grace and love of God, I feel free to roam, but always stay close and on the path I believe he is on. Just like Zeus, though, sometimes I get taken away by my freedom and get lost - but Jesus always finds me, as I always find Zeus, and pulls me back to the path I need to be on.
Obviously the analogies break down and are less than perfect, but there are many lessons I have learned from Zeus and I know I will continue to. If you wish to learn about love, get a dog (I recommend dachshunds!), if you have one and want hear stories that will make you laugh out loud, smile, cry and shake your head, read Marley & Me.