Today I enjoy the antics of our youngest cat. She is my daily reminder that God has a playful side. A Creator who lacked a humorous bent could never have created this cat. She is charmingly devilish, full of affection one moment and mischief the next.
Honey’s favorite trick is to pick up her toys with her teeth, and carry them around the house. She’s worse than a toddler, leaving a trail of discarded items exactly where she lost interest in them. (Can you train a cat to pick up its toys?) To make matters worse, her toys are not really her toys. She snatches things… strange things, from bedrooms, countertops, or dressers… things like scarves, packs of gum, necklaces and fabric scraps.
This morning’s toy of choice is a one-gallon Ziploc bag she pulled out of the drawer (thankfully it is clean and empty). She’s a small cat. Her toy de jour is a bit big. I chuckle affectionately as I watch her struggle to drag it down the basement stairs. She holds her chin high and walks wide-legged, the bag between her front paws, trying not to step on it. To her credit, she’s determined. But once the bag is halfway downstairs the game is over. Honey drops it and moves on to new mischief. As usual, I pick up the clutter.
A Creator who lacked a humorous, playful bent could never have created me either. There are times God must look down and affectionately chuckle at my antics. He knows how silly I can be! I struggle clumsily along trying to carry a burden that isn’t really even mine and is obviously beyond me. But I’m determined. I have something to prove about my own strength and independence. When I finally get tired, I drop the burden and it falls on God to pick up the cluttered mess I’ve left behind.
The only burden I’m called to carry is the yoke of service to Christ, a paradoxical yoke of freedom. It’s such a sweet call, “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) All the other burdens I pick up along the way; cares, worries, anxieties, striving, busyness, conflicts, expectations, hurts, disappointments, sorrows… wear me out. They steal away my joy and freedom in serving Christ. I am called to cast these onto Jesus because He cares for me. (I Peter 5:7)
In a few years Honey will mature into a very contented lap cat. She’ll still play from time to time, but will have learned her own limitations. She’ll rest more. She’ll struggle less. A few years down the road, let’s hope I’m as wise!