About a month ago, we started noticing a lot of aggression between our two male dogs. It quickly spiraled into them not being able to be in the same room together. It became apparent that Friday was determined to knock Deogi from the lead male position and Deogi was going to fight with everything he had not to lose it. We weren’t sure what was causing this sudden upset in the hierarchy, but it could not be ignored.
Then last week we discovered Deogi’s health problem and it all started to make sense. In the canine world the strongest is the leader and for a long time that was Deogi’s place. As his back got worse and the pain started, the balance of power needed to be shifted, but that wasn’t going to happen without a fight. It started with Friday pushing past Deogi to be the first in the house, challenging him for the coveted sleeping spot and aggressively growling any time they were in the same room together.
I was standing in the laundry room sorting out clothes with Deogi by my side. He’s always by my side. Suddenly Friday appeared at the door and as I tried to leave, Friday made it clear with his posture that Deogi was not going to get by him. I pushed by and motioned for Deogi to do the same. I heard him whine/growl and looked back to see a standoff. The attitudes were clear. Friday knew with instinct that Deogi needed to be submissive, but Deogi was just stubborn enough to not give in.
Not a single one of us likes to be challenged for a position we feel we have earned. Even when it becomes obvious that we need to step down, we like to sink our teeth in and plant our feet. To have to submit to someone more powerful, feels like oppression.
I think this balance of power is one of the things I struggle with the most in my Christian walk.
Those moments when I feel weak from the struggle of daily life are so similar to Deogi’s attitude towards letting Friday have control. I’ll be danged if I give up my illusion of power and let someone else benefit for something that I have fought for. I am afraid in those minutes that I will lose everything.
Then you have the dynamic of who I am within the house.
I know Deogi is now hurt and weak. I know that Friday is stronger now. I will not allow anything to happen that will lead to either of them getting hurt further. I know there will be growls that I can’t control, but I will prevent injury. I will make sure that each of them gets the food, toys and love that just comes from being in my house. I’ve stopped it enough times now that Deogi knows he can stand behind me and be safe. Friday now is assured that no matter how grand his illusion of power might be, I will not allow him to pick on the weak.
I believe this is how it looks to be in God’s Grace. We are assured that even though life seems it might hurt us, we have assurance of His love that will protect us when we are weak. By allowing that Grace in our life, we will receive just what we need and those that threaten us can’t really take that away just by growling. To submit to Him is not giving up being the hero in our story, but rather showing off the works of a hero with a power beyond our comprehension.
Now when Deogi and Friday are in the same room, there is peace because they are willing to allow someone else to be in the lead and know that by submitting they are losing nothing but unneeded hurt and struggle.
Now when I am going through my day, there is peace because I stay willing to let someone else lead and know that by submitting I am losing nothing but unneeded hurt and struggle.