Feed the Dog

“Praise the Lord Oh my soul.” (Psalm
103:1) It was printed on a small card on the hospital breakfast tray. I had
just given birth to my first child, a beautiful baby girl the doctors said could
never be. She was God’s gift to me, the direct and deliberate proof of his love
that melted my hardened heart and turned my life around. On that cold morning
in November, 31 years ago, I smiled as I continued to read the words of that
Psalm. At that moment I had more joy and love surging through me than I would
ever have believed possible. So at that moment I didn’t need the words to tell
my soul to praise God. My soul was overflowing with praise.

But sometimes I do need those kinds of reminders.
Like the Psalmist David, there are times when I need
to command my soul to praise, to be thankful, to be still, to obey. Like David,
there are things in my life that block the righteousness Jesus has put in me.
My will has been bent by an unholy world and like the old song says, I am
“prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” I
need reminders to pull me back into the light so I can again see the depth of
God’s grace and mercy and move closer to Him.
I am reminded of an old urban legend about a man who
said he felt like he had two dogs inside him. One was good and one was evil.
When asked which dog would win, that man answered, “the one I feed the
I try to feed the “good dog” – I read
God’s word and other books that feed my spirit and nourish my soul and
stimulate my brain to follow a righteous path. I listen to music that does the
same. I associate with people who are on that same track. It works. God has
designed it that way. This is the reason why man will always create, always
search out that which is good and pure and beautiful, because he must have it
to feed his own soul. He must have it to remind Him of the One who created all
that is good and pure and beautiful. The longing is part of our DNA.
That’s why the scripture tells us, “whatever is
true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is
lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy –
think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
It is in pondering “such things” that we draw closer
to our God. When we are confronted with such things – when we are captivated by
them – we catch a glimpse of who God is – true, noble, right, pure, lovely,
admirable, excellent and oh so worthy of our praise. And we are captivated by
As writers of faith this is the imperative, the
pinnacle to which we strive, to convey all that is true and noble, to drive our
readers to long for it, for in doing so they will long for God Himself.

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta
Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She
was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel,
One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been
endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia’s
second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary
fiction category of The
Word Awards
. Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for
writers can be downloaded here.
Visit Marcia’s website
An Unexpected Glory, an ebook novella about a Christmas pageant that goes all wrong, is now available on Amazon