If you've stopped by David's Daughter before, you may recall that we have two cats and three active adult children. Having appreciated the independence of cats for a long time, it wasn't a stretch to get a cat feeder for them. They can graze (yes, that's the term our vet uses), and we can be gone for two or three days at a time doing things with the kids, and not have to worry about them starving. (Really, Maisie could benefit from dropping a little, like me, but also like me, she gets cranky when not fed.) Anyway, the feeder works for them and for us.
Here's my lesson, analogy, whatever: I was filling the feeder on Friday (say that three times fast), and noticed for the umpteenth time that all it takes is one little morsel to keep the lid from closing properly. Fought off the seemingly starving cats to fix and finish filling, and a thought occurred to me. An apparently innocent/ incidental/ incremental anything can interfere with us doing our best, reaching that goal, if we let it.
It's like this. Several years ago, I made a mistake that cost me a job I dearly loved. The consequences of my error affected our whole family. (Don't worry, I didn't embezzle or do illegal.) For the next few years, I was miserable with myself and the world around me. I wove a cocoon of defeat and unworthiness that was nearly impenetrable. Nearly, but not quite.
And God loves us so much, He doesn't allow His children to wallow forever: He's got much more important things for us to do. During that time, I ended up in an urban school district. I cried on the way to school and on the way home. I thought of it like a prison sentence, forgetting the Lord is much more forgiving of our frail flesh than we typically are.
Having me where He wanted me, broken and uncomfortable with everything around me, God really went to work. He surrounded me with accepting and vibrant new friends, then He started to break my heart for the children we worked with. As my heart slowly opened up to the stories of my new friends and students, as I witnessed their daily trials peppered with their occasional triumphs, I began to care for them. That's when the Lord tatooed on my heart that if I could accept and love them, He would surely do the same for me.
Our God is so big! In His scheme of things, our mistakes, our sins, are like the little piece of cat food stuck in the feeder: get it out of the way (repent) and move on (restore). I don't have to let the cat food stay stuck! There's much more important things for me to do, things He's planned and ordered from before I was born.
Now that the Lord has pulverized my heart to almost tender enough, I see lessons in the craziest places, like the cat feeder. I still have a long way to go, though. Some days I think my heart will burst from the joy my God-sized dream brings me, and that I want to share with others. Publishing Life with Bobby and Bonnie is just the beginning. Other days, the food gets stuck, and I don't seem to be able to get whatever the challenge, mistake or fear is, out of the way, much less move on.
Am I the only one? Does your cat food get stuck sometimes? What do you do to "get it out of the way and move on"?
Are you wondering about the picture of Christopher Reeve? Before I admired his courage and outreach, I won't say I admired, more like drooled over, that handsome man. I couldn't wait to see "Somewhere in Time", still one of my favorite movies. I thought for once, the guy was actually more gorgeous than the girl. So, this is a little piece of eye candy for me, and maybe for you. Of course it doesn't hurt that his story reiterates this "lesson".
I'm linking this post to Coffee for Your Heart.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.