Jesus, the Cat Herder

Cat’s can be expensive. Every single day they need food and water and litter. Every day. And they take time too. You have to clean out water bowls, scoop out the litter box, play, pamper and pet.

They need toys and vet visits, which can lead to medicines, vaccines, and special diets. It all became clear just how much they cost when the vet used the word, ‘hydrolyzed’ diet. To be blunt, hydrolyzed means that a 7 dollar bag of cat food now costs 50 dollars.

I didn’t have to think about it for long. Toby (the cat) is in pain and this could relieve that discomfort. It’s worth it to keep him happy. And that is what we do. We keep the cats happy. They get treats and playtime and they get my seat and my shoes. They have fancy cat stands and hammocks to sleep in, they have special places on the porch and in the other rooms.

We have a rule that if someone has a cat in their lap, someone else has to bring them things so as to not disturb the cat.

Sure, they are cats and they act like cats which means being jerks and all, but we still love them.

Now I’m going to ask you a question that a cat owner never asks… what does the cat do for me?

They don’t cook or clean or help in any way. They don’t contribute to chores, finances, or stability. They bring their needs and their affections and that is all. They are a burden, an extra responsibility, and every cat owner knows this.

But, we love them and not only want to take care of them, we genuinely want them to be happy. Not for what they bring us, but for we want with them. We want that family and relationship they provide. And this is how you know its a genuine and true and honest and fully loving relationship… because we don’t ever expect anything in return… in fact, it’s physically impossible for them to do anything for us.

While cat owners do deserve a special pat on the back, there is one thing we need to clear up.

You are the cat.

You bring absolutely nothing to Jesus except for yourself… just as you are. You can’t create. You have no power or authority. You are a mess that brings along a lengthy list of needs and frustrations.

But Jesus, picks us up, sets us in His lap, and desires to hear us purr. What He wants from us is that relationship… and nothing else, as it would be impossible for us to even bring anything else anyway.

If you have a hard time understanding how Jesus could love a mistake like you, consider the cat. They scratch the good furniture, leave hairballs in the most inconvenient places, wake us up all hours of the night, hiss, run away… and all we really want is have them purr in our laps as we comfort them and take care of all their problems.

Jesus wants a real, honest, true, genuine, loving relationship with you. No strings attached. Not only does He not want anything from you… you couldn’t bring it anyway. He just wants you. Not the results of you, but JUST you.

There is nothing more rewarding to a cat owner than a purring, cuddle session. To know they trust us, love us back, and want to be with us. Go ahead…. be a cat. Climb in God’s lap and let Him know His love is returned. Accept the safety. Accept the food. Accept the gifts… Accept the Savior.

Let the Cat in the Shower

My cat loves the shower.  He scratches at the door, yells, and mopes when he can’t get in.  He seems desperate to get in there… until I turn the water on.  Then it’s a different story.

I feel like we behave similarly when we ask God for things and aren’t responsive to what He provides.  Even with our hearts in the right place we may ask for new ways to serve… but when the water comes on it’s not exactly what we wanted or where we wanted or who we wanted to serve with.

I’ve often been the guy who begs and then is unhappy once I get exactly what I asked for.  Fear gives me pause.  Uncertainty causes doubt.  My comfort zone is somewhere else.  I’m quite good at making excuses.  When the water first hits me I start doing amazing acrobatics to get out of there.  I want in… but once I get access, I want out.

I want to serve God, but I don’t want to miss the game.  I want to share His message, but I don’t want to sound weird.  I want to pray over strangers, but I’m afraid.  I want to preach Christ to the world, but I don’t want to leave my house.  I want to follow in His footsteps, but I don’t want to give anything up.  I want in the shower, but I don’t want the water on.

One simple question that my cat doesn’t understand… what good is a shower without water?  Exactly.  What good is a servant that isn’t willing to serve?  What kind of sacrifice can you make when you won’t allow for change?  What kind of Christian doesn’t act like Christ?

Can I challenge you to turn on the water?  It will be cold, and then it will be too hot.  But with the right focus and some adjustments, you will eventually be washed clean.    I know many people who rank themselves over others because they are willing to go into the shower.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the measure of the Christian.  What matters, is if we come out clean or not.  We would all walk into a den… but not many would willingly go into one full of lions.  We would all check out a furnace… but not one fully lit.  Turn on the water and put the Christ back in Christian.