Our dog Buddy moved in with us when he was six months old. Early on during our walks, I never really knew who was walking whom. But each time we returned home, I was pretty sure it was Buddy walking me because my arm felt like a noodle. A heavy leash and strong restraint helped keep him at bay, but Buddy ran a crazy path for as long as his leash would allow. Let’s call it what it was… walking on the wild side.
It didn’t take long to realize we needed serious leash walking lessons. I didn’t want to stifle Buddy’s enthusiasm. Actually, I was envious of his behavior. Each time we stepped out for our daily “stroll,” my aim was to join Buddy in the adventure so we could both enjoy walking wildly together.
Today, our walks still look a bit out of control. We go this way, that way, over there, up there, down there, all over the place. But after the initial frenzy, Buddy takes his place at my side and before long we step into each other’s rhythm. We often pass other dogs. There is a well-trained Lab, a controlled Scotty, and a senior-citizen Dachshund. Buddy smiles at each of them with his tongue hanging out the left side as if to say, “Top of the morning to you!”
Buddy loves walking anywhere, anytime — the street, the grass, the mud. He is such a role model to me for living life on the wild side.
Walking on the wild side does not refer to being immoral or rule-breaking. It means to do things with abandonment, with enthusiasm and excitement.
Jesus says, “I have come that they have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV).
Yet sometimes Jesus followers seem so vanilla. We live a safe, unexcited, bland which doesn’t speak favorably to the wild & wonderful life to which He has called us. Perhaps walking on the wild side with Jesus looks a little like walks with Buddy where we:
Explore every inch of ground as if it’s never been discovered before.
Sniff every blessed thing along the way because it might not be there tomorrow.
Smile at people along the way first.
Taste every stick because it possibly could turn out to be the best stick ever.
When you walk with Jesus you just might go to places you’ve never been or see things you’ve never noticed. The truth is, you may step in a few puddles and you might get a little muddy. But hey, that’s what makes walking on the wild so much fun.