Like many rural dwellers, we own a number of cats, most of which are “working kitties” that keep the rodent population down and out. They enjoy twice daily meals of fresh goat milk and an occasional visit to the Manor, if they behave.
One kitty, however, is Special. A hybrid Siamese, she looks different, and prettier, than the grey masses of other feline fare, and from the beginning she has lived a life of relative ease. While technically still an Outside Kitty, she begins her day each morning by clawing to the top of the front door and peering through the little windows. (By the way, if you’ve heard that Siamese cats have a reputation for intelligence, you’ve heard right; intelligence in a cat, however, is vastly overrated, and difficult on the front door.)
Because I’m well trained, I rush immediately to let her in, which she does, with a thump to the floor.
(This might be a good time to mention that her name is Mia — Meeeeee-uh — living with her convinces me daily that there are no accidents to names.)
Me. Me. Me. Mia.
First things first: she heads to the closet where the food bag is, sits in front of the door, and expectantly stares. If you don’t get the message immediately, she brushes lovingly against your legs, purring, and giving that “come hither, NOW, Stupid,” look from her blue eyes. She can keep this up for a long, long time — to the point that even the initiated are fooled into thinking that she likes you.
But she doesn’t. All she wants is that door open, and once it is, she’s gone — burrowed deep inside the bag of cat food for a free-feeding session.
Every morning, I give in, something that the Norwegian Artist — who refuses to open the closet door on principle — observes with a sigh and a shake of the head.
“You do know, don’t you, that Mia doesn’t care for you at all?”
Yes, I do. We all have to be eccentric about something.
Spiritual Lessons from a Cat
This morning, when I opened the closet door for Mia, I looked deep in her eyes and thought,
“You’re like me, actually, dealing with God. I don’t want to take time with Him, I don’t want to rest in His arms and let Him love me — I just want Him to open the closet door so that I can jump in the bag and start free feeding.”
In other words, I want the answers to my prayers and the solutions to my problems — first. Afterwards, when I am surfeit with food, I’ll spend some time with Him, unless, of course, like Mia I just want to head up to the master bedroom, alone, and sleep all day.
But that’s not good enough for God: He wants me — all of me — and He wants me to hope and trust in Him, not hope and trust in the answers to my problems. Those answers will come, and generally in a different form than what I am expecting, but if I spend all my time hoping in the answer as opposed to hoping in the Person who gives the answers, I will be disappointed.
Hope in the Person, not the Things
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them,” Jesus tells us.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
The really, really difficult part about living this last verse is seeking first without focusing, in the back of my mind, on the “give it to me” second half. It is disturbing how much I resemble Mia, and not because I sport such a distinctively beautiful coat.
God’s grace is sufficient for me. I don’t know how, but quite fortunately, He does.
Thank you for joining me at Commonsense Christianity. As a writer and the manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art, I wear a lot of hats and do a lot of things, but my favorite activity, hands down, is writing this column. I feel as if you, the reader, and I, the writer, are sitting down and chatting, and when you are so good as to take time and leave a comment, I am delighted.
Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, keep walking — you’re getting somewhere. If you feel dissatisfied because you want a deeper, truly different looking relationship with God than what you have now, be encouraged — feeling frustrated is a good sign that we’re not satisfied with the status quo. Complacency and apathy are definitely worse than frustration.
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