Was this some sort of Halloween joke?
Was this some sort of Halloween joke? The headline caught my eye: “Hunter shot by his dog.” You’ve got to be kidding! No, the Des Moines, Iowa, story turns out to be very true, painfully true. Jim Harris, 39, was out hunting last weekend on the opening day of pheasant season. As he and his canine buddy were moving through the brush, Harris stopped, laid down his shot gun, and you can guess the rest. “Man’s best friend” accidentally stepped on the shotgun, tripped the trigger, and at close range pumped 100-120 pellets into Harris’ calf. The good news is that Jim is recovering from surgery in good condition, except for a very sore four-inch circle on his calf. “Hunter shot by his dog.” Some things in life are just plain backwards at times, aren’t they? Take this headline from the upper room the night before Jesus was crucified. There in the orange glow of those flickering torches, Jesus turns to his closest companions and friends on earth and declares, “’You did not choose Me, but I chose you’” (John 15:16). But we get that headline backwards sometimes, don’t we? It’s easy to get to thinking that all this talk about “the chosen” must mean that people with enough spiritual smarts will make the right choice and settle in with the right God and the right theology and the right lifestyle. If only everybody else would just do the same (so the subliminal thinking goes). But Jesus’ quiet assertion that night is that such thinking is backwards. The choice that matters most isn’t my choice or your choice—it’s clearly his choice. “I chose you.” Oswald Chambers, in his classic My Utmost for His Highest, drives home the point: “Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God, but that He has got you” (299). Good news for all the times you and I mess up our choices, foul up our resolutions and just plain get it all backwards. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” Which means that you’ve been chosen by the only One in the universe who knows how to make a perfect choice. Which, of course, doesn’t make you or me perfect. But it does reverse the headline of salvation’s focus from imperfect us to perfect Him. And in anybody’s book, that would surely make God, not dog, our “very best friend.”