Being human, we tend to make even simple things like coming to God’s table complicated without even thinking about it. Our stray outdoor cats like the simple things of life, like morning treats laced with catnip. Every morning I give our outside stray cats a handful of good morning treats to start their day and supplement the dry food in their bowls. After as cheery of a “good morning” as I can muster, I call their names and guided by their personalities, they wait for their turn at the treat bowl.
I have named a gray and white sweet girl “Bob’s Girlfriend” because our indoor cat Bob wants her to be and acts like she is his girlfriend. Goldie is an entitled guy. He gives me the “it’s about time look” and doesn’t even bother to thank me as he starts vacuuming up treats. I call a gray tabby with white paws the imaginative name of Tabby. She is more reluctant to come to the table than Bob’s Girlfriend, and usually waits until the sound of the back door closing assures her that I have gone back into the house. I think she probably knows I watch her from the doorway, but the catnip treats are her first priority as long as I’m not standing in treat territory.
This morning, as I was watching Tabby cautiously climb the deck stairs to claim her treat, I was thinking about how cats, especially stray cats, are God’s creatures like we are and how they too have different ways of approaching the table of eating and of life.
The most basic step is the table and what is on it. The Bible’s 23rd Psalm assures us that God lovingly presides over the tables of our lives and he wants to abundantly supply our needs. He waits patiently at the table for us.
Did you ever stop to think about our individual approaches to God? Think about it, using the table as the symbol or theme. Some of us run up to God and God’s table, ready to take charge and grab everything we can. We elbow others out of the way without a thought.
Some of us use a more measured, bargaining approach, willing to negotiate as long as we get some of our needs and requirements met. We lose sight of the table because our senses are filled with ourselves, not God.
Some of us are reluctant for a variety or reasons. Others have made us feel unworthy by blasting their own worthiness. Others have fashioned their own narrow entrance ramps over God’s broad avenues of acceptance and often block them with flagmen in glaring orange vests and multiple red flags.
And some of us are just plain shy and even intimated. Do you realize the full import of a relationship with God? We don’t often think that approaching God’s table with urgent prayer requests expecting immediate but willing to settle for delayed gratification or attending his churches on Sunday with our own agendas might be somewhat of an arrogant entitled approach to our Creator. An entitled approach like Goldie cats seems to work and human nature makes it a natural approach.
When I think about it, I more often than not identify with Tabby’s approach to life and God’s table. Some days I feel unworthy and wait at the bottom of the stairs for God to listen to me wondering if He will. I can’t imagine climbing the stairs and claiming my share of the blessings, catnip or otherwise. I wait there, watching with wistful Tabby cat eyes and I wonder and wait.
God is patient. He offers life and blessings and waits behind the door while I cautiously approach the table.
And my tabby cat eyes fill with tears of joy.