6 ¶ Now godliness with contentment is great gain. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
Since we’ve moved to town, our house has been a sort of cat ranch—or maybe just a cat café. We didn’t plan it that way, but that’s how it’s turned out. If you’re a frequent reader, you know we brought the two indoor Siamese cats, MacArthur McBeath and Eleanor, with us when we moved from the parsonage (the house next to the Church building).
Then Seth and Leanne brought their two indoor cats, Ike and Tina, to live outdoors at our house. Our next-door-neighbors (the Smiths) have two cats that eat all their meals at our house. (Their names are really Tom and Jeri, but we call them Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith.) If you’re counting, we’re up to six cats.
In addition to these permanent boarders, we have a number of cats that stop every day (or night) for a meal or a snack. There’s a handsome yellow and white tom cat, a pretty tabby, and a ugly and mean grey long-haired cat that Susan calls “Satan Cat.” We’ve also had many others who have just stopped by once or twice. (They must have just been traveling through town on business.)
We were surprised to see an unusual addition to our feline diners in the past week — Oscar the Opossum. He isn’t a cat, or course, but he does love to munch on Friskies Surf ‘n Turf. The outdoor cats are alternately furious or terrified at the sight of him.
What do these diverse creatures have in common? They are all dissatisfied with their lot in life. All the outdoor cats want to come live inside. We’re forever having to shoo them out whenever we open a door.
But even more amazing than that is that one of our indoor cats has decided that he wants to be an outdoor cat. For months, he’s been crying every night to go outside. We wouldn’t let him because he has had his front claws removed. But last week, after chasing him around the backyard for the umpteenth time, I decided to let him make his own choice. (Part of the nature of love is being willing to give freedom and freewill. That’s what God has done for us.)
Susan and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that MacArthur is probably going to lead a brief but exciting life as he braves the great outdoors. So far he’s managed to do okay.
It has dawned on me that the most prevalent thought in all Creation is being discontented. The indoor cats want to be outdoor cats. The outdoor cats want to be indoor cats. Oscar the opossum wants to be anything else but a marsupial. Adam and Eve aren’t happy with the garden of Eden. And all of us want something more, or something else….
Benjamin Franklin wrote:
“The poor have little,
The beggars none,
The rich too much,
Enough, not one.”
(So far, only one of our indoor cats has wanted to go outside. Eleanor considers our house as her good home. MacArthur perceived it as a prison. A lot of life is how you perceive it.)
Did you ever stop to think that God our Heavenly Father sees everything in the universe at once? When He looks at the Earth, probably the main thing He sees is that His creatures are dissatisfied. Wouldn’t it be great if He saw something different in our lives? Let’s be glad for God’s gifts and give Him thanks today.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 32 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He recently retired after 28 years as a Mississippi public schoolteacher, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa with his grandson, Landon Cash. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the Preacher orders big sacks of cat food from Amazon.) Their kids include Spencer (age 26), his wife Madeline (age 26), and Seth (23), and his wife Leanne (age 22). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.