by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
It was the dog’s first major hunt. His master had been training him for most of his young life to follow a scent and now was the time to prove his worth.
They tramped through the woods that bright autumn day searching for signs of a buck. If they were lucky they would find one with a trophy rack, but that was not nearly as important as laying up meat for the hard winter ahead.
Suddenly, the moment came. A magnificent buck could be seen just across a small clearing. The hound wiggled and softly whined as he waited for the signal from his master. When it came, he took off giving full voice to the pleasure of the chase. However, it was too soon. In his exuberance, the young hound gave the deer warning and he leaped quickly into the woods. It was no matter to the hound for the scent was strong even though he had lost sight of the deer. He soared through the woods carefully following the deer’s trail, giving out a yowl periodically so his master could follow. Then the trail came to a narrow briar patch. Obviously the buck had leaped the obstacle and continued his escape, but the poor hound was forced to find a way around the briars.
Part-way around the briar patch, the hound startled a fox just leaving its den. The fox did not stay to exchange pleasantries but dashed off. The hound was surprised by such rudeness and wondered where the fox could be heading in such a hurry. He picked up the fox’s scent and followed. Before long the trail split into two directions. “How could a fox,” the young hound wondered, “travel in two directions at once?” But, the trail to left had the stronger scent, so off the hound dashed full of questions. Suddenly, the trail simply ended. The crafty fox had doubled back, completely stumping the young hound.
Obviously, some thought would be required, but just at that moment, a hare leaped from a few feet away. It had tried to stand still so the hound would not notice it, but the wait was too nerve-racking. It dodged right and left as it strove to throw the hound off its trail. However, the hound was determined to have some meat for his master’s table.
The rabbit dove into a hole beneath some stones and scared a mouse from its hideaway. The mouse ran out the back door and, seeing the hound, scurried to its home beneath the root of a tree. Seeing the rabbit enter the rocks on one side and the mouse left on the other, it appeared to the hound as if the rabbit was magically transformed. This would be something to show his master – a mouse that was also a rabbit!
He began to paw at the mouse hole beneath the tree, trying to dig the magical mouse out of his home. And it was here his master found him. He had started chasing a deer, but he ended worrying a mouse.
It is easy to laugh at the naive hound for being diverted from his task, but if you stop and think a moment, we too are often distracted from our purpose. Those who have put on Christ have started a race toward the gates of heaven. Yet, sin so easily distracts us from the one true path (Hebrews 12:1-3). Before long we are chasing useless things; things which perish and harm our souls. The cares of the world keep us so distracted that we forget there is something much more important awaiting us (Matthew 13:22).
For Further Study
Verses to Consider
- Luke 9:57-62
- Romans 13:11-14
- I Corinthians 9:24-27
- Galatians 5:7
- Philippians 2:15-16
- Philippians 3:10-14
- I Timothy 4:12-16
- II Timothy 1:5-6
- II Timothy 2:3-4
- II Timothy 3:14-15
- II Timothy 4:3-4
- II Timothy 4:6-8
- Hebrews 10:35-39
- Hebrews 12:1-3
Questions to Ponder
- What are some things that can distract us from living the life of a Christian?
- How do we keep from losing our focus?
- If we lose our focus is it our fault or the fault of the distraction?