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Written by Chontelle Taylor
My husband, Matt, and I live with our four cats, Keechi, Gracie, Daisy, and the youngest kitten, Archibald (Archie). Life is always interesting when you have cats. They have such different personalities and they seem to be always getting into mischief. But what I love most about our cats is what they teach me on a daily basis.
God's creation is so intricate and is full of beauty and magnificence. Like it says in Psalms 104:24-25 (NIV), "How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number - living things both large and small."
If we observe creation, whether it be in nature, or our own pets, there is much to learn.
For example, the other day I made myself a corned beef sandwich for lunch. I sat down and, as I was about to bite into it, I noticed there was a very curious kitten sitting on the table with me. I promptly picked him up and put him on the floor, where he belongs.
However, this did not deter him. Several more times he attempted to get to my food by jumping up on the table only to be put back on the floor. He even once charged at my plate and desperately tried to grab any piece of food that he could.
After a good few minutes of this, I figured I was not going to be able to finish my sandwich in peace, so I put little Archie into another room. This was much to his chagrin, and he voiced his annoyance in great cacophony.
While all this was going on, Gracie, the middle cat, was hanging around. Gracie is a soft and quiet cat who spends most of her time observing everyone from atop a bookshelf. Gracie came over to me and rubbed her face on my leg just to let me know she was there. I bent down and gave her a pat and a scratch on the face. Satisfied with this, she went and stretched out on the couch.
I paused for a moment and took in the different mannerisms of two of my animal companions. Archie had quite forcefully made his desires known and went to great lengths to fulfill them. However, Gracie was perfectly contented with just saying hello and anything that came to her after that was just surplus.
We can often get caught up in the world around us. Society is often pushing us to compare what we have with the Jones' and to have what they have NOW, whether or not we can afford it. A bit like Archie who was not content to wait for his own food – he wanted what I had and he wanted it NOW.
But what we need to keep in mind is that our great and loving Father in Heaven has a plan for us. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
God loves us and knows us better than we know ourselves, and He most certainly knows what is best for us. If we lust after the ways of the world and don't keep the Lord and His plan in mind, we will end up unhappy and so many times discontented.
Look at Archie and the way he aggressively sought after that piece of food. He wanted what he wanted, and when he ended up with nothing, he was left unhappy in a room by himself.
However, if we regularly consult the Lord with prayer and fasting, we can come to an understanding on which direction He is guiding us.
There may be times when we question God and we may not understand where He is taking us but always remember, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6 NJKV). And when we "wait on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14) we will be much more like Gracie, happy and contented.
By the way, I did not forget Archie in the other room. After he had some time to think about his behaviour, I gave him some of his own food and lots of love and affection.
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