I wrote this many years ago and it is one of my all-time favorites. T.K. was an actual dog who was very precocious and who kept me company at my very first church work in Delhi, LA.
Theophilus Kimble was his name. He was a big-footed, clumsy, loud-mouthed mutt of a dog. Smart as he was large, T.K., as we called him, had a way of bringing many valuable lessons to life.
I remember once he got through the fence. He thought he had invented the trash can. He ran and jumped and bounded over and into everything.
He was free at last! All the things that looked so alluring to him in the far regions of the other side of the fence were now his to explore, and explore he did. There was no sign of him for days. I kept a close watch on the local news for a report of a half-crazed, bent-on-examining-the-contents-of-every-trash-can dog, but there was nothing. Just when I thought I had lost him for good to the charms of three-ply Hefties, here he came. He had his tail between his legs, whimpering, wanting to come back home. I let him, of course. He was my dog, and I did care for him regardless of the number of trash cans I had to replace. He was home.
Does this story sound familiar? It should. T.K. was playing the canine role of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). All of the elements were there: The enticement of the forbidden in a far-off country (the trash cans on the other side of the fence); the opportunity to leave (the open gate); the wasting himself in riotous living (one too many trash cans); The realization of mistake (probably when he missed his Milk Bone); and the humble return.
We all can learn from T.K. Better yet we all can learn from the Bible. The grass is usually not greener on the other side of the fence. All that attracts does not always turn out to be that attractive. And the best place to be is where you are loved.