Saturday, August 22, 2015

We Are Not Enemies

From this picture, you may assume that Carbon (grey) and Captain (orange) are two cats who get along so well that they can nap within a few feet of each other. 
But, in fact, this is rare. 

Usually, they will not even pass through a doorway at the same time.  There is hissing, spitting, and fighting.  And, it's ridiculous.

But aren't we the same way?  It's not hard to find good examples of people who hiss, spit and fight with each other.  Maybe you even do it.  I know have (and do).  It's tempting to believe these people, who are different, believe differently, and act differently are Bad.  Evil.  Worthless.

It's a lie.

"When it is within your power to do so, be at peace with everyone."  Those are God's words to us.  Philosophically, we wonder why we can't get along with each other.  Then we just look at our own behavior (or our unspoken, yet uncharitable, thoughts) and it's abundantly clear we are great contributors to strife.

Like Carbon and Captain, we wander the same planet, eat the same food and breathe the same air.  Maybe we do think, believe and act differently.  Isn't that (for the most part)....okay?  Apart from the occasional sociopath, getting along is not really that hard, even if it may mean staying away from someone. 

Pray for the peace God gives to fill your own soul.  Pray for the transformation the Holy Spirit does within us, in His power, to extend it to others.  An honest assessment of ourselves may mean we do okay in our own efforts, but mostly they are failures.  Only God's power can create the change from contempt to love.

Then, the lion will lay down with the lamb.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Making an Undecision

In April, I decided that I needed to close the kennel for the summer, and possibly forever.

In the second week of June, with no dogs, I started thinking about reopening. 

And I thought about it more.  And more.  I thought about it pretty much all the time.  Why did I want to reopen when I was convinced that closing was the right thing to do?  What was the difference?

Feelings are fickle things.  They spring up on us involuntarily but sometimes they are terrible liars.  So I committed the matter to prayer.  And my conviction didn't change.

So I've undecided about never reopening.

Come Labor Day weekend (beginning September 3), the kennel will be reopened through the holidays.  I'd say that after New Year's, that's probably going to be it, because I don't want to be open in the seriously cold months.  And while I think that will be "it", I've changed my mind too many times.

It's a hard decision to make, and it's unfair to my kennel clients to keep opening/closing.  So I'm relying on word of mouth to spread the news (this means you), but also with the full knowledge that many clients have already found other arrangements, and that is fine!  I'm also not taking any new kennel clients, just those who wish to return.

So there you have it.  I wish I could explain it.  I'm glad God pressed upon me the overwhelming desire to close for the summer.  And while I'm mystified about reopening, I'm just going to go with it because following God's leading has taken a LOT of practice and what I've learned is....His ways are not our ways, but they are sooo much better!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

When It's Not Your Fight

Maybe it was the full moon, or maybe it was some random reason, but Frank decided he needed to stay out all night with Carbon and Captain.  Frank is twelve years old, so this was a real stretch for the old man.

When he came in the next morning, he was dragging with exhaustion, along with a limp in his front foot.  During the night, yowling cats woke the rest of the household, so I suspect Frank was at least half that fight.
Doesn't he look comfy?  He slept alllll day.

Who knows what he was fighting about, but it likely wasn't worth the price he paid.

And isn't that true for us too?  How many arguments do we have that are truly worthwhile?  What dust-ups have caused distance and hard feelings, the origin of which are long forgotten?  What part have I played in making a situation much worse than it warrants?  Too many times I'm not as innocent a party as I'd like to think - much like Frank the cat.

When we are wronged, and I mean severely, big ticket item, wronged, we can't always protect ourselves or defend the truth.  While certainly there are times when a stand must be made, it can be done so with calm reason sans name calling and rock throwing.  "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord" (not 'insert your name here').  The Lord is one of justice, and when we can't stand, He stands for us and vindicates us. 

Examine yourself.  Sometimes it's no fun, but what the Holy Spirit may reveal is a gift because He can transform that ugly into beautiful.  And He makes beautiful things out of us.