You all remember this little girl, right? A quick refresher for any new readers: I found this little girl in the tree in my back yard, and rescued her from the gaggle of mean ol' doggies that live back there. I initially named her Miss Kitty, but since that time, Evan has renamed her Meow Meow.
Well, its seems that Meow Meow isn't quite as sweet and innocent as she may appear! (isn't that always the case?) I have noticed over the course of the last several weeks that Meow Meow would patrol around the fence, and even get right up to the gate where the dogs could smell her. A couple times, she has managed to sneak through the front door of the house, and she seems to always make her way straight to the glass doors that lead to the back yard - right where all the dogs have gathered! I guess you could say she's a bit of a daredevil.
For those of you who don't know, we have three dogs: Maggie, and 85 pound Lab/Shepherd mix who is quite possibly the greatest dog ever born in the history of ever, Oscar, the overweight miniature Schnauzer with a bad attitude, and Chase - 110 pounds of big dumb dumbness.
Now, fast forward to Sunday. Meow Meow was at the gate, taunting away, and Chase was on the inside of the gate, ready to pounce. I had just fed the dogs, and with Evan in one arm and the pitcher that holds the dog food in the other, I was making my way back out of the gate. I made sure to move Chase out of the way, and slipped through the gate, closing it behind me. The gate sags a little, as most will do since it is an 8 foot opening, and so I had to re-open it to get it closed all the way. When I cracked it open to secure it shut, Chase flew through the crack and, like so many heroes and villains of the Old Testament, lived up to his name!
Now, picture me, running inside to put Evan down, and then running down the street of our neighborhood trying to keep 100 pound Chase from killing 10 pound Meow Meow. At first, I couldn't find them, and I was sure that it was too late. Not only did I expect Meow Meow was dead, but I thought I'd probably never find Chase again. Then I heard barking, so I headed towards the sound, sure that I was going to have to spend another afternoon getting this cat out of a tree. Not fun, for sure, but an upgrade over dead cat and missing dog.
What I found was much different! I saw Meow Meow, on the ground, fur sticking straight up, ready to rumble. I saw Chase, barking and easing towards her. Then, I saw the Animal Kingdom remake of "Crouching Tiger, Hurting Dog Face." That little 10 pound Cat leaped into the air, and, defying all of Mr. Newton's laws of gravity, proceeded to thrash Chase about the face and nose. Suddenly, Chase couldn't get away fast enough. He looked over at me with his big dumb confused look, like "what do I do now daddy? Help!" So I went and rescued him from his tormentor and took him back to the fence, safe and sound from the mean ol' kitty.
How many of us spend our lives playing the role of Chase? How many of us are pursuing something, praying for something, longing for something that we think we want. How much time do we spend seeking the things we think we want, never bothering to ask the most basic question: What happens if I catch the Cat?
Pastors, what happens if your little church suddenly becomes a mega-church? Is that really what God wants for every church on every street corner? Is that what you want? Are you and you members prepared for it?
Singles, what happens if you finally get a date with that girl or boy you've been after? Are they somebody you will truly be happy with? Will you have a healthy, fulfilling relationship, or will you just add to each others brokenness?
Adults, what happens if you finally get that promotion? Will it really be a good thing, or will you sacrifice time with family, happiness, and possibly even your health in exchange for money and power?
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.- Philippians 4:12-13
Its telling that we ignore the first part of this passage, and focus on the part of about doing "all things." We need to learn that the secret to unlocking "all things" is being content in all times. Secure in our person hood as God's beloved, and grounded in a reality that is beyond the tangible world. Only when we have anchored ourselves in the here and now, and learned to live fully in it, should we begin to pursue what is "out there," and then we should pursue those things that we genuinely believe are worthy of our pursuit - not for our sake but for His.
So, before you chase that cat, ask yourself two questions: "Why am I after this thing," and "What happens if I catch it?"