So... I have this dopey cat that has a one-track mind. It kinda drives me crazy. I know all you cat lovers will really relate to this because I'm sure your cats do the same thing and it probably drives you crazy, too.
My cat's name is Goldie for obvious reasons. She is a cymric which means she is a long-haired tailless cat. She loves people, especially me. We bought her as a toddler cat with lots of playful sass, spunk and personality.
She lives to do one thing: to sit in my lap. She stalks me... She's persistent in this. She seeks me out and is only purring with satisfaction when she is absolutely in the center of my lap and has my full attention.
Could it be that her example should teach me something?
I'm into a new book this week entitled "Rumors of God" by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson. I picked up this book when John and I attended worship at Willow Creek Church in Chicago last fall. Darren Whitehead is a pastor there. The book jumped out at me as I perused the bookstore. I bought it and added it to my ever-increasing list of books to read in January.
And it's January! Yay! Time to read!
This book has turned into a 'mark-up' book, which was something I didn't really expect. I was humming along, reading and marking away, until I read the chapter 'The Faith You've Only Heard About' which started to get pretty personal and convicting.
The chapter starts out with Jon recounting how passionate he was for God when he became a new believer. He got up early and prayed in the church parking lot and was often overwhelmed with a strong sense of God's Presence... He could not get enough... He was filled with love and joy.
10 years later, he started working at Willow Creek - a wonderful God-loving church with really high impact. Good things were happening but his passion slowly eked out as he began doing more and more for God and becoming more and more distracted with things that needed to be done.
Jon was studying Revelation when he realized his life paralleled the Christians in Ephesus. God commended the Christians in Ephesus for their hard work and perseverance, their holiness and their doctrine. Many good things were happening - miracles, healings, people were really listening to the gospel and living it. What else could Jesus want from them?
"Yet I hold this against you," Jesus said. "You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen." (See Revelation 2:1-7)
Jon knew he had lost his passion in the midst of all the good stuff happening. And I quote from his chapter:
"Jesus wants more than a life lived for him. He wants us to live with him - not defined
by what we do but by whose we are."
"I think the first thing we have to do is value the voice of Jesus above anything else.... We
must commit to making the voice of Jesus the loudest voice in our lives."
"I began to see that the primary task of my life was to prioritize time with God and learn to
hear his blessing and love spoken over me. Only then would I be free from the crowd
and the addiction to accomplishments."
"I no longer rush off to the office first thing. I set the alarm, get up early and seek God's
face. But I don't do it out of shame and guilt. I do it out of passion. I open his Word to
the wonder of his truth and promises and slowly let them flood my soul. I drink in his
unconditional love. I meditate slowly and intentionally through the passages of Scripture
that talk about who God is and how he feels about me - his grace and beauty and peace
"I love beginning each day knowing I am a child of God, dearly loved."
"After I have drunk deeply from the fountain of God's love, I listen to what God is
asking of me. I want to respond in obedience to exactly what it is that he wants me to
do.... and serve him faithfully in that (job) first."
So... here's the lesson I have learned from my persistent dopey cat who demands to sit in my lap and have my attention:
God wants me to persistently seek him and 'sit in his lap.' Well, maybe not actually sit in his lap, but definitely know his love and have a sense of his Presence and hear his Word and understand what He wants me to do - each and every day.
He says, "Come to Me , all ye who are weary and I will give you rest." I am 'ye' in this passage...
If I will persistently be with Him, I know my passion for Jesus will be strong and I will hear His voice and I will be in a close relationship with Him.
It will not drive Jesus crazy that I want to do this... it's His heart's desire....