Tuesday, July 19, 2016

When You Don't Get Your Way

Say hello to Layla (hi Layla!). 
Clearly this is a picture her owner sent in as Layla generally doesn't show up at the kennel ready to entertain at the party.  And somehow I surmise it wasn't her idea to wear this.

We don't always get our way.  I could make a list of Things I Deal With That Were Not My Choice.  And you'd be impressed.  In fact, I could make that list based on today alone.

You probably have one too.  Maybe you have one for today too.  And yesterday.  And tomorrow.

I don't know about you but I pretty much hate it when I don't get my way.  After all, I had a plan.  And it was a good plan. It would have worked brilliantly and now I don't have my plan and probably have something ten times worse instead.

When I don't get my way and I'm mad about it, I don't put on a cute little costume like Layla's and go to the party.  My party is what one may call A Pity Party.  And I go all out.  I pity in style.

Sometimes I have to get all the pity and pouting out of me - like a kegger of misery - before I turn the corner on my attitude.

The whole time I imagine God watching my spiritual temper tantrum with a smile.  He knows what I don't - that His plan is so much better, but I likely will not understand.  Ever.  Not this side of eternity anyway. 

It turns out I have to trust, but I do it begrudgingly.  And I suspect God is okay with that too.  After all, Jesus was God incarnate and knows the misery and trials of being human.  Even though he seems to have successfully avoided pity parties, he had to deal with some real creeps.  He got mad at some, but he did it in a really righteous way.  And then he went and loved the people who are likely not on our party list at all.

Fortunately my existential angst and ensuing pity and pouting doesn't happen as often as it used to.  Maybe I am learning something.  But I take great comfort in knowing that God regards me with the eyes of love and forgiveness.  Like a father watching his pouty child.  Like an owner watching his cute dog in a party costume.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Roofers are Coming! The Roofers are Coming!

Dooley, seen here in a serene moment under the lilac bush.
Little did he know then that within 24 hours, his life would turn upside down with chaos.

At least fifteen young men descended upon the property, swarming the roof with tools, making noise and making a mess.  To Dooley and the other cats, something unimaginably terrible was happening (to the dogs, it was a party with the best dog tv ever).

If only I could explain to them that the threatening noise and people were doing something good to their home - making it safer and stronger - for their protection.

It struck me that I am often like my cats.  I look around me and see a lot of troubling circumstances.  It seems like the end of the world (or at least MY world).  But God is at work, building and reinforcing my framework in ways I often don't understand.

While it is impossible for me to become a cat or learn a cat language to explain what was happening amidst the whirl of activity, Jesus was God incarnate, and explained a lot to his followers.  While God's word doesn't have a specific explanation for our situations, Jesus tells us what we need to know - He is with us - He will never leave us - His plan is good and His love endures forever.

If you feel like the hammering of your trials is too much, perhaps some greater work is being done, unseen and unknown.  It is a walk of faith.