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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bowls on the Runway

Jorja and Jaxon

by Marcia Lee Laycock

A young woman stands at the head of a long runway, a wooden baton in her hand. At her side sits an eager German Shepherd, quivering. The woman swings the baton in front of the dog’s nose, then pitches it to the far end of the runway. The dog shoots down the runway, ignoring the bowls of food and snacks laid out along its sides, grabs the baton and races back to his mistress. He drops the baton at her feet and sits down. He looks very pleased with himself. Really. He does.

Another young woman takes her place at the head of the runway. The bowls of food and treats are still in place. A Golden Retriever sits at her side. He looks around and wags his tail. The baton is waved and tossed. The Retriever heads off, but spots a bowl of food and grabs a bite. He gets a bit further but that bowl of treats is just too tempting. A few more steps but oh, there’s another bowl of fragrant food just made for him. At the half way point the dog is so distracted he ends up turned around and heading the wrong way.

I laughed out loud the first time I saw this video. We own two golden retrievers and I know that’s exactly how they would perform if given the chance.

And it’s a lot like how I perform at times. Distractions abound and sometimes I just can’t resist. There’s that internet expert promising a six figure income if I just follow his plan. There’s another guy who says he can help build my platform so that even Oprah will want to interview me. And ooh, there’s a course that teaches everything I need to know about building a website, creating social media banners and all kinds of wonderfully creative things every writer absolutely needs.

The days can fly by with little writing getting done because I’m chasing after the bowls filled with dreams and promises. And sometimes, like that golden retriever, I end up going the wrong way altogether.

It’s then I have to stop and ask myself, okay, what is the right way? How can I get down that runway to the goal God has assigned me? It’s then I have to remember what my calling is all about and connect again with the One who designed it for me. I want to be like that German Shepherd, eager to please my Master and running with all I have, to do what He wants me to do. I want to focus on the true prize, not a reward, not a treat that will be devoured in seconds, but a life-giving relationship that is eternal.

So, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

May we all, as writers of faith, “run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24). 


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. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards and her fantasy novel, The Ambassadors was the winner of a Word Award in June, 2015 . Marcia also has two devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded here.

Her most recent release is the first book in a fantasy series, The Ambassadors

Visit Marcia’s Website

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  1. What a very apt description of how we too often behave! Thanks, Marcia.

  2. I also saw a video, may have been the same one. The dog was having such fun, and seemed to be so full of joy, that it made me feel good just to watch him. I am as easily distracted as that dog and have to constantly remind myself to focus on the task at hand. Thank you for the reminder to "press on toward the goal".

  3. Thank you, Marcia. That Golden is me. "Look at this. Oh, what about that? What's that over there?"

    A couple of weeks ago, a verse came to mind. "She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out at night" (Proverbs 31:18 NKJV).

    Our merchandise is good. Press on.


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