The Gulfport Police Department gave Fred the pink-slip. Police Chief Leonard Papania told The Sun Herald that Fred could patrol, but would easily get distracted. In searching a building, Papania says Fred might spy a soda can on the floor and start playing with it.
They even sent Fred back to school to retrain him. It didn’t work! So they are sending the Belgian Malinois back to U.S. K-9 Unlimited. Fred is great at sniffing out drugs but fails to stay focused to the task. (“Police department fires dog for playing too much while on the job”, February 6, 2014.)
When I read this story, I found it somewhat humorous and sad at the same time. I am hoping Fred finds a good home. I can see how important it is for the dog not to get sidetracked while doing a critical job! By being distracted, it could cause a very dangerous situation for him and the men he works for. This story reminded me of how we can get side tracked and lose focus with our relationship to God.
While a soda can may not distract us as it did Fred, we have many distractions in our fast-paced world, such as media, school, work and so on. Even though distraction is the new normal, for so many of us it can be fatal to our Christian calling. It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of our true purpose in life—our calling, our relationship with God.
The last two weeks, many watched the Winter Olympics in Sochi. It is amazing what these athletes can do. They make it look so easy to us onlookers. The truth is, it takes years of focus and hard work to achieve this form of perfection in their sport. Why do they do this? Because their eyes are on the prize" winning a medal! They cannot afford one little distraction.
We also have a great prize set before us; the greatest prize that anyone could attain and it is not limited to a few, like the Olympics! The award is attainable for all who respond to God's calling! The prize we are seeking is eternal life in God's Kingdom! Christ tells us, "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown" (Revelation 3:11 Revelation 3:11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.
American King James Version×).
God has reserved a crown of righteousness for each of us. We must not become distracted and lose focus, costing us our reward and crown. In order to stay focused, we must remember Colossians 3:1-2 Colossians 3:1-2  If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
American King James Version×, “ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
So remember Fred, the K-9, who lost his job because he became distracted. Don’t allow unimportant things to deter you from the most important goal of all! Stay focused on your calling and receive the greatest reward that can be obtained, eternal life in God’s Kingdom! Oh, and instead of a medal, we will win a crown!