"Want to" or "Have to"

Most Friday mornings, during quail season, my dog Freckles can be heard howling and moaning on the back patio. She refuses to silence herself until I bring her inside to put on her boots for the day. I have never been able to figure out how she knows we are going hunting. Somehow she senses that the day will include hunting. Maybe it is because we don’t go walking. Maybe it is because she has a calendar in her doghouse. For   whatever reason, she keeps expressing herself for all to hear. 

Hers is a moaning of “want to” not “have to.” She is saying “Oh boy!” She is not saying “Oh no!” She is never happier than when she gets to go hunting. Once she has her boots on, I put her in the dog box, where she immediately begins her howling again. She doesn’t have time to wait. She needs to get to the field ASAP! Her zeal to go has contributed to her improvement as a bird dog. Her improvement as a bird dog has contributed to her zeal to go.

David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’”  David was elated to have the opportunity to go and worship God. His enjoyment of worshipping God in the past wet his appetite to worship God again and again and again. His glad anticipation of worship contributed to his enjoyment of worship every time he went. What he expected greatly influenced what he received.

When we show up for worship with a “want to” attitude, we tend to receive much more than when we show up with a “have to” attitude. After we receive much more, we are more excited about coming the next time. Life, like worship, goes much better when we approach it with excitement instead of dread. I offer no silver bullets to make that happen. I will say that attitudes tend to determine atmospheres that, in turn, reinforce attitudes. 

Most positive people and positive bird dogs choose to be so. Every day is made by God and provides opportunities to rejoice and be glad. 


Psalm 122:1,