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Posts Tagged ‘gourmet salmon dinners’

These past few days, we have had the privilege (?!) of minding our daughter’s cat. Now Panda (she’s the cat!) is fourteen years old and not as agile as she once was. She stalks somewhat disdainfully around our house, thinking twice before she tries to jump up anywhere. And when given the freedom of our backyard, she tentatively explores it a little but soon settles down in a favourite spot under a tree. She has always been a little choosey whom she selects as a trustworthy friend and does not seem very enamoured with either my husband or me. But from around 5.30pm on, I am her very best friend, apparently, as she brushes up against my legs and meows plaintively. Now I hate to doubt her motives, but I suspect it could have something to do with the fact it’s almost her dinnertime.

It dawned on me today, however, that Panda might actually be enacting a real life parable before my very eyes. Could it be she exhibits some of my own attitudes to God? Could it be, for starters, that just as she doesn’t seem to care much about me most of the day, but changes her mind quickly at dinnertime, she might well be mirroring my own behaviour towards God? Surely this is what I do when I turn to God only when I need something?

But then I see another even more disquieting way in which Panda might well mirror my own behaviour. She appears to be a lovely, old cat. She looks like she is just waiting for you to pat her and or to sit in your lap. But in reality she’s not so friendly at all – well, not to most strangers anyway – and has even been known in the past to hiss and lash out. Could I possibly be as deceptive at times as our Panda? How often do I pretend to be much more righteous and holy and … well … nicer than I really am? Yet I don’t fool God for one minute. God sees past it all, right into my heart.

Then there’s the certain knowledge that in a couple of days when our daughter comes to reclaim her pet, Panda will very speedily switch her allegiance from me back to our daughter!  How could my feline friend be so fickle after all I have done for her – cleaning out her litter tray, providing her favourite gourmet salmon dinners, stroking her when she deigns to let me, removing all her hairs from my best lounge chair? Yet is it possible I’m as fickle as that with God? Could it be that I regularly switch my allegiance from God to whatever else is bringing me pleasure and fulfilment at any given time?

I’m so thankful God is much more gracious and loving with me than I will ever be with our Panda! I’m so glad God cares enough to forgive my pretence and my ever-changing allegiances and helps me do better. And as I gaze at a sleeping Panda curled up under a nearby chair, I echo David’s prayer from Psalm 139:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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