So my mom and dad just got a dog. Since they live in an attached in-law suite, that means we just kind of got a dog. The dog’s name is Martin Luther. My dad had just finished reading a book on Luther and decided he wanted to honor him in some way. Since he had already named me many years ago, the dog ended up with great reformer’s moniker.

It’s a tough name to explain to people or to be shouting out the back door, so we’ve decided to just call him “Buddy.” But when he’s done being a puppy, we will tell him the story of his real name, how Martin Luther changed the world and the sky’s the limit for him, too. (I think I’ve gone too far and need to pull it back a little.)

We just installed an invisible fence for Buddy. An invisible fence is ingenious. A wire now runs the circumference of our yard underground. If Buddy tries to run out of our yard, then he will receive a small electric shock. The idea is he will eventually learn to stay in the yard. Since we’ve just installed the fence, we have flags up where the wire runs. Every day my dad takes Buddy out and walks him close to the flags. When he gets close enough, a buzzer goes off. The buzzer is a pre-shock. It’s a warning.

The invisible fence was expensive. We didn’t do it for us. We installed it for Buddy. The yard is his world. It’s a great place for him to run and explore and enjoy without the danger of cars and trucks and all the other scary things that lurk outside of his yard. I hope it works.

I’ve been reading the Psalms lately. The psalmist is constantly giving thanks for the law of God. He says it is sweeter than honey. It’s more valuable than pure gold. I want to think that if Buddy realized what the invisible fence cost us and why we did it he would be like the psalmist. He would run and jump and whenever he heard his collar begin to buzz, he would look at me and smile a toothy dog grin.

But I’m afraid Buddy might be a little more like me than the psalmist. And that means he will get shocked from time to time and look at me with his sad dog eyes and wonder if I hate him.

I don’t. I actually like him. If you are hearing the buzz of the law of God, it’s not because God hates you. He doesn’t. He actually loves you… a lot. His law really is sweeter than honey and more valuable than gold.