A parable of how I feel at the end of 2016…
A dog, whose master goes away for a predetermined amount of time, is placed at a kennel where they board dogs. While he is there, this dog eats unfamiliar food out of an unfamiliar bowl, entertains other restrained dogs who are little more than strangers, and is cared for by a cruel steward who abusively beats him because the dog belongs to someone else. In the midst of the confusion and sorrow, as the dog hears the evil steward approaching from down the hall, he cowers in the corner of his kennel expecting another beating as the unfamiliar dogs watch the injustice without so much as a peep (and who can blame them since they are just as much scared prisoners as he is). As real as this expectation is, there is another expectation hidden deep within the dog’s heart that is just as real – the return of his master who will cause the unfamiliar to become familiar, who will displace the disordered injustice with his perfect justice, and most of all, will allow him to eat in his master’s presence at his master’s table. While the displaced dog can long for the abuse to stop, love his fellow prison mates, and humor the unfamiliar food in this terribly uncomfortable and foreign world, ultimately making these minor adjustments will fall short in delivering true satisfaction because the dog’s true desire is to have his master simply take him home.
Therefore, scripture says:
“Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes…” Luke 12:36-37 (NASB95)