Little Gertie stopped by for a visit last month. With an abundance of lionesque fur adorning her tiny little body she pranced down the driveway with a wag of her tail and a toothy smile. I spotted her just before I pulled the van into the driveway and made sure she stayed clear as I pulled into the garage.
No one was home at Gertie's house, so we invited her in for a spell, and that's when Sophie spotted her fluff. Jerking back with a low and meaningful growl, she told this visitor that she wasn't expected, nor welcome.
Sophie has always been a good little guard dog, but I'd never beheld such a territorial attitude. I told her it was ok, that Gertie had been invited, and she wagged briefly before she went back to staring down our little guest.
The boys began to lavish their affection on the little pup, and this proved to be even more unnerving to Sophie as she pace back and forth with obvious concern. Then every move was carefully observed and followed as Gertie did a bit of reconoitering throughout the house and the yard.
"Why is Sophie acting like that?" Josh asked, clearly enamored with our pint-sized neighbor.
"Well, Gertie has invaded her territory, I suppose. Sophie doesn't like to have to share the attention and space, and she certainly didn't appreciate Gertie climbing into her bed!" I replied.
I have often wondered over the last few months if the boys may have a similar reaction to having sisters in our house. What might they feel territorial about? How will they handle the reality of sharing the affections of their parents. And sharing their space... and their toys. So we talked about it a little bit, and they could see both Sophie and Gertie's viewpoints. We played out a few verbal scenarios and giggled at our fabricated reactions.
The truth is, I can get pretty territorial, too.
Sometimes Jesus comes into my spiritual house when I'm not expecting Him. He starts to reveal things and poke around in places that unnerve me. He makes me uncomfortable and unearths things about myself that make me want to growl.
But I need to be uncomfortable.
I need my territory to be challenged.
I need to remember that it's His domain and not mine.
I need to give Him every inch, letting Him roam freely in my life.
Finances, relationships, ministry, "my" time... every little nook and cranny. Each day, I want to be able to say,
"Come on in! Make yourself at home. How can I serve you?"
Are you ever a Sophie?