I took my dog on a walk the other day. He has not properly been trained on a leash. He doesn't know the "heel" command. He is so excited to be out and about that you see him taking off to every pull of his desires. As I walked him in the neighborhood, I kept him on a short leash. That's when I started thinking about this analogy where people say that they've "got someone on a short leash". Once we were out of the neighborhood and on the sidewalks, I let the leash extend as far as it could go. It literally put a huge grin on my face to watch him take off to give in to the impulses to mark his territory and sniff all the things to be sniffed. As we walked for a few miles, it all clicked for me.
(Birthday Girl), You have been on a leash under your parents training. They have given a tug if they see your tendencies are taking you somewhere unacceptable or even dangerous. They pull the leash in tighter to teach or give a command. At the age of sixteen, you begin a life of bigger independence and with that comes bigger responsibility. The responsibility that is most important to me is that you begin to recognize, rely upon and obey the spiritual leash that God has given to you. By His Holy Spirit, we as His children will get a tug or we will feel some slack in the rope. Begin to notice it... because when you are released from the leash of your parents and you are like a wild dog excited about his environment, there are dangerous things around that you may not recognize without that tug!
Lastly, that tug is ALWAYS out of love. I don't pull in the slack on my dog's leash because it appears he was having too much fun. I pull it in so that he doesn't get entangled or bulldozed or poisoned. God loves you and wants what is best for you. As you grow in independence and responsibility, may you live wearing your Spiritual Leash! Happy Sweet 16!!!!
Much love to you,