Keep Your Eye On The Alpha

“I always like a dog so long as he isn’t spelled backward.”                        ~ G.K. Chesterton

I’m not sure if Chesterton originated the idea that dog spelled backwards equals god? It’s certainly become a popular metaphor. I recently read a piece interpreting this coincidence as a kind of encrypted code for the unconditional way God loves us.

I have a Schoodle named Henry VIII. He gained his unfortunate moniker by virtue of being my 8th dog. Unlike his famous namesake, he’s sweet and guileless.

Watching him chewing on his paw, I knew something was wrong. The embedded sticker was needle thin, nearly piercing all the way through. His eyes never left mine as I rolled him on his back, holding him in my arms. Taking it out was a slow, painful process. He held perfectly still. His trust never wavered.

Although there’s very little Alpha in my nature, Henry willingly yields that role to me. I’m his Alpha. On occasion, something unhappy happens to him, either as a course of nature or at my hand. He’s a dog. He doesn’t understand why I’m prying the thorn out of his paw or giving his muddy self a shower, but he never pulls away.

Unlike Henry, I’m a wary creature. I’ve trusted and had that trust betrayed. And, if I’m truly candid, I haven’t been 100% trustworthy, either. Knowing my nature and weighing my experiences, I can unwittingly slip a degree of caution into my relationship with God, becoming my own Alpha.

The lesson of dog and god isn’t that God loves me like Henry loves me.  The lesson is for me is to learn to love God like Henry loves me.

Mercy calls me to lean into His arms and keep my eyes on the One who calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega. Grace whispers that I don’t have to understand everything to trust that He always seeks my good, and that in the pain, there’s a place I can rest.

It just requires keeping my eye on the Alpha.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

48 thoughts on “Keep Your Eye On The Alpha”

  1. I was sent your way via Caddo Veil who told me what a special pup Henry is – so glad I visited and got not only to see that precious mug but read your lovely post as well.

    1. ideflex –
      Thank you so much for visiting.
      Henry and Caddo have a bit of a long distance crush going on. 😀
      Henry is a regular at The Fork in the Road but did this one guest appearance at TMG!
      I hope to head over your way soon!
      Thanks again for reading!

  2. I’d like to know HOW He does it…. I mean, I’m googling something and your blog comes up, I go check it out because you mention Victoria Brooks “Delighting God” which I’m just reading…. and there in your posting today you’re chatting about Mercy and Grace. So am I today in my posting.

    How’s that for heavenly serendipity… guess means that we’re really are connected in the Spirit, even when we don’t know each other any other way.

    BTW, I’m pleased to ‘meet’ you… and I look forward to future visits.

    Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places……..

      1. Brenda – God does work in mysterious ways, His wonders to behold!
        I don’t even know anyone who’s ever heard of Vickie’s book (which is quite a shame). I’m so curious. Do you know her personally or however did you find it?
        I just returned from your blog… it’s a long way to Canada so it took a while. I’ll be back! 😀

    1. Hello Brenda and welcome to Two Minutes of Grace!
      The connections go on…
      Because most of the posts I’ve written using quotes from Vickie’s wonderful book, I wrote when only 8-9 people were reading TMG, I’d just decided last night to re-write some of the early ones in hopes of generating more interest in Delighting God:The Secret to Making the Father’s Heart Leap!
      Delighting God as He delights in us, showering us with His great grace and mercy!
      Yes, it would seem, we’re not just reading the same book, we’re on the same page!
      I look forward to getting to know you much better. Thank you for returning with your link. I’m off to visit now!
      ~ Debbie

      1. Hi Debbie,

        I tried replying several days ago, and keyed a nice newsy note, when w-a-a-a-a-a-, I lost it all. Somehow it didn’t seem to post.

        And when the week was filled with needful things that didn’t give me much time for e-chatting, I thought I’d try another time.

        First, I was THRILLED to get your comment in my own comment box last week and enjoy ‘our’ connection to Vickie, as you call her.

        You ask if I know her — no, not in person, but I would love to! I first came across her book not that long after it was published, and it came across my path in the usual God-loves-to-delight-me fashion. The two of us had been having some delightful Father-Daughter times, and Victoria’s book was such a wondrous one to enhance that experience… as her story, although not the same, had similar results… the discovery and KNOWING of why we’re here.

        You mention old posts using quotes from the book, so I’m going to go look for them. And is that book available still? Does she have Facebook or a blog or anything? I looked but didn’t come up with anything that seemed like hers.

        And now… I’m off for the present… cross your fingers that this time the post will ‘stick’.

        Wishing you glimpses of heaven’s beauty in some very unexpected places this week………………..

  3. I’m with the rest of the pack here today, especially Heidi’s thoughts about a devotional book, Debbie–yes, Lord, Do IT!! Bless y’all BIG–love, Caddo Sis

    1. Dear Caddo of the Shimmering Sands,
      I’m sitting this one out.
      I know from years and years of experience that Heidi will do whatever she wants! 😉
      God bless you, too, Sis!
      ~ Debbie

      1. Your children love you no matter what. Believe that, and go from there. xxoo I know this 😉

      2. mel – True. like Henry, except with a great deal more volition, my kids love me. Without a doubt one of the greatest gifts in my life. And yes, you would know. 😉

      3. Children are really difficult aren’t they? I long to have another dog. I think Don and i can work that out. Oh, i mean “D”. I’m stressing about work already. Soon to be hot off the presses: Mediation, Negotiation, Arbitration and other Proceseeeeeeeesses. (e, like in eel) … never mind. 🙂

  4. Oh DEBBY … sweet little Henry, oh, you know this breaks my heart seeing an innocent in pain… What a sweet baby laying in your arms, looking at you with the trust of a pup! You’re his person! Dogs rock … can’t help it. I know they aren’t people, and they’re not God, but they love truly and absolutely whether your showering them or pulling thorns out of their toes. To Henry you are God. Such devotion. DOGS!

    Anyway … that’s a cool comparison to God. You are a true believer, and you also accept other beliefs. I know where your heart is, and you are a devoted servant to God. You show it all the time. That’s awesome (sauce) … i’ve heard that from the youngsters … it’s supposed to be better than awesome. OK, well, as far as not being 100% trustworthy COME ON!!!!! Now you’re not really going to get upset with yourself about THAT? Jeesh. Love you, m

    1. dear melis – Awesome Sauce? Sounds like a good title for a post! 😀
      I rather suspected you’d like this one. Henry, like Harper, is a lover.
      And no, I’m not upset with myself (anymore) about past mistakes and sins, but it’s been a slow boat to China to get to this point.
      I think (I pray) that I’m trustworthy now.
      love and peace to you, mel,
      ~ Debbie

  5. Excellent analogy in this. Very hard to do though. Complete trust is so difficult to give, even to Him. I am guilty of being human, self reliance is easier then complete trust in God. Gotta work on that…

    Thanks Debbie 🙂


  6. Thank you, Debbie

    your writing is like liquid love…thanks for pouring into us as He pours into you

    “Grace whispers that I don’t have to understand everything to trust that He always seeks my good, and that in the pain, there’s a place I can rest.”
    Every now and then my heart does the ‘why me?’ cry and I hurt in the private pains that I walk through. There are good days, then there are days that follow the difficult nights … then there are days like today: Wonderfully uplifting days to cancel out the memories of yesterday’s pain.

    God bless you, sister-friend. The tears in my eyes are there because you have reminded me that all is well in His arms.

    My family appreciates your ministry in our lives.

    Blessed beyond belief,

    1. Dear Ann –
      What remarkably kind comments. Thank you.
      You are ever gracious.
      Your ‘private pain’ reminds me of Henry’s sticker – so deep and so tender. It took great faith for him to know that all was well in my arms. It took the kind of faith that you have, dear Ann.
      grace and love to you,
      ~ Debbie

  7. Wow! Beautiful. The simplicity of a dog’s trust taught you so much about yourself and your relationship with God. I can’t believe it took me 35 years to discover the sage wisdom of dogs. Now, I can’t live without it. I thank you for spreading that lesson here to us, so that we can put it to use.

  8. Great Great Great is the Alpha and Almighty
    Laying at His feet – a pleasure
    Waiting for His Word – my treat
    Laughing with Him – my joy

    Prayers for your day

    1. Hello dear Susie!
      What beautiful thoughts you’ve shared with us! Thank you! And thank you for your prayers! I love it when you pray for me. 😀
      I will stop just now and pray for you, too!
      ~ Debbie

  9. Gracious one, you have blessed us again. 🙂 I can feel silly sometimes, but less and less do I try to always understand things. I saw that as a bad thing for awhile, like I wasn’t getting my “lesson” out of it. You help me see that the best lesson is just to trust that He is working good. Thank you sooo much for specializing in grace . . .how we need it! love and prayers – the other deb
    p.s. your prayers for us were extra needed and held us tight through a challenging day!!! Thank you and God bless you!

    1. Dearest Deb –
      Somewhere we seem to have picked up the notion that “If you don’t learn what you’re supposed to the first time, God will punish you by bringing similar or worse circumstances into you life until you ‘learn you lesson’.
      That reminds me a lot of being reincarnated as a bug instead of a king. Living life over and over until we get it right.
      But we won’t ever, will we? Instead, He calls us to a higher ground – to a faith that under-girds, even when the rains are torrential.
      I’m terribly sorry to hear that this has been such a rough week. You two are ever in my prayers,
      ~ Debbie

  10. I love this Debbie. What a sweet example. I will think of this often. His ways are gentle and kind. Reminds me of Ps:30:15c ” in quietness and trust is your strength”.

    Oh Henry! I want to frame that picture, sooo sweet.

    ( for Heidi, glad to hear you are starting that book ” hurry up Heidi, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up Heidi, hurry up ). Huh hmmm sound familiar? Lol.

    Thanks Debbie … Miss you

    1. Cathy – OK, you having me laughing out loud – I’ll probably wake up Heidi!
      I don’t know how Henry handles the “hurry up” pressure, but the two of them seem to have a working ‘system’! 😉
      Psalm 30:15 is a wonderful reminder that our strength is both in the trust and in the quietness. Thank you dear friend!
      Miss you, too, always,
      ~ Debbie

  11. Beautiful words, Debbie. You’re so right. Henry VIII is a good example to all.

    I think “While the headlines shout condemnation Grace whispers that I don’t have to understand everything to trust that He always seeks my good, and that in the pain, there’s a place I can rest.” would make a good description for the devotional book comprised of your posts. I’m working on that starting today.

    1. Heidi – I love it that you added shouting headlines! I occasionally channel surf between 2-4 a.m. when I’m having trouble staying awake. To be honest, I avoid the ‘Christian programming’. I feel so beaten up afterwards. That’s not to say there is a place for these programs, but there isn’t a place for them in my place.
      ~ Debbie

  12. “Grace whispers that I don’t have to understand everything to trust that He always seeks my good, and that in the pain, there’s a place I can rest.

    It just requires keeping my eye on the Alpha.” What powerful words and imagery today, Debbie. Thanks for this post.

  13. Thanks. And let me share something personal about which I kind of feel silly at times. I have two mini dachshunds, Ludwig and Elsa, who are my only “children.” They are part of my morning “devotional.” I sit down with my cup of coffee, watch the birds cavort at the feeder on the deck, and delight in Ludwig and Elsa who will hop up beside me on the couch. I have started calling them at this moment “Emanuel” (God is with us) as I feel so much the love they have for me and the love I have for them. They are part of my daily prayer routine as I thank the good Lord for them and for the love they have brought into my life, that love they have for me and for the love they evoke in my heart. And, yes at times I will joke with my wife at these moments, “Truly “dog” is with us.”

    Thanks again.

    1. Hello dear Lew –
      What a wonderful glimpse into your mornings as you celebrate ‘God with us’ with Ludwig and Elsa! The Father wraps His gifts Himself (I’m convinced of this) and sometimes He wraps them in fur! 😉
      Thank you for sharing this lovely story. I smiled all the way through it.
      grace to you, Lew,
      ~ Debbie

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