"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lessons from the Cat Woman

Everybody has one. That friend who for whatever reason has a hobby of collecting cats; not porcelain cats, not plastic cats, not cat clocks, but real live cats. You know, that friend that we all affectionately call the “cat woman”. We suspect our “cat woman” of going outside in the middle of the night with all her cats on little leashes and performing show tunes in her neighborhood cul-de-sac. The advantage of having one of these, as a friend is that there is always a story to be told which leads me to my thoughts for today.
Recently, my “cat woman” friend was telling us that Gracie (one of the cat horde) is fascinated with water and would reach out under the running sink faucet with her little paw to touch the water, then try to lean over and slurp a little in her tiny cat mouth. How cute. So, the story continued that my friend was in the bath one morning and Gracie decides to do more that sit on the edge and watch the water. She jumps into the bathtub, full of water, containing my friend, and again, full of water. From what I gathered, cat decided that water was not so appealing and began creating quite the ruckus in trying to get out, the “ cat woman” was creating quite the ruckus trying to depart at the same time, so that by the time both were out of the tub, the room was quite wet and no one was very happy.
You know, as humans, we often become attracted by those things that appear appealing and fun on the surface, yet are not quite so lovely once we become engulfed. We tend to think of sinful things as dark and gloomy, however, I think they are bright red with streamers and polka dots that have music with a great beat. Why else would sinful things be so attractive? Now, normally I tend to not use a lot of church words, like sinful, but it is the word that God puts out there, so we have to hear it. Basically, sin is doing those things that God is not pleased with and is not according to His wishes for our lives.
As I sit and watch the Oscars, I think back to some movies I have seen that were not the most appropriate for a Christian teenager, young man or middle-aged man. Why did I go? To be honest, I went because my friends were going and I didn’t want to be left out, didn’t want to be laughed at by suggesting we should not see it, plus, to be honest, I wanted to see it myself. Yet, later on, I would find myself thinking more and more about the content, becoming immersed in the thoughts and actions in the show and would have to deal with knowing it was wrong, yet enjoying the experience.
That’s why it is so important that we learn to trust the instincts that God gives us. Folks, God is not a restrictive God who does not want us to enjoy life. I have a blast in living each day as I try to live, as God would want. I am blessed with a good family and friends, a good job and coworkers, a church where I can find encouragement and gifts of music and writing that continue to bless others and me. Yet, despite all of this, I struggle every day with staying out of the attractiveness of sin. Just call me Gracie. I see the things I would like in life and have a hard time not going after them. That’s probably one reason why I struggle with money and my obsession with buying electronics and other such toys.
Let’s learn from my friend the “cat woman” and her cat, Gracie. You might think you like the water and finally take the plunge into the lovely tub of water, just as you discover that’s really not where you wanted to be. Too late, you are wet and miserable. Stay dry, happy and live according to the sense and ways God gave us as an example for life. And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


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