I bought the cats a new litter box this week. You don't want to know the state of the old one, trust me. Browsing around Wal-mart, I found a large, nifty new model with a swinging door to trap odour and general yuckiness in while giving the cats free access. Sold! I brought it home and before I put any litter in it, set it on the dining room floor and waited to see how the cats would react to the new appliance. They sniffed and circled and that was about it. Hmmm. I put Tea inside it to see if she would figure out how to exit through the see-through swinging door, but she just sat inside, looking at me with her big eyes, as if waiting for something to happen. Aha! There must be some incentive given! So I got out some treats and when both cats were poised for a handout, I tossed the food bit into the clean litter, through the swinging door. This puzzled them. They circled the box, wondering where the food had disappeared to. Come on, silly furs! I pushed open the door and dragged Tea towards it. Yes, she saw the treat was inside, so she jumped in and got it, then sat there staring at me through the door again, clearly trapped in a cruel game her owner was playing.
Well, Jazz was the smart one, so maybe she could show Tea how it was done. I grabbed her and we clawed and meowed our way towards the big blue box. I tossed another treat into it. She refused to push her head against the door and contorted into all kinds of furry shapes when I tried to get her to do it. So I opened the door for her and when she saw the treat, she stepped in with both front paws, grabbed the treat and hopped back out again without moving her back paws from the safety of the wood floor. Arghhhhh! These cats! They have no concept of pushing against a door to open it - they just assume it is solid and closed. They are used to free and ready access with no obstacles. Isn't that the way it is supposed to be? The master doing everything for the them?
We were praying for each other at home group last night and several times, I changed and adjusted the words I was praying. The words I was used to using just didn't seem quite right anymore. They were words that made no room for my effort, my free will, my choice in moving towards wholeness. Instead, these words demanded that God do this and that and come and make it instantly better for me or for the person I was praying for. God can change things in an instant, he can override my circumstances and adjust my stubborn, selfish will and make me a better person, but what would be the point? I will not have changed or developed in any way, and the spurt of gratitude I feel will quickly give way to more whining and demanding that God do something about some other circumstances.
When I feel closed in, do I just sit there and moan about my inability to change the situation? Am I insistent that God must not only orchestrate the opportunities, but also clear the path and open the door and usher me in? This is not faith! This is laziness! This is wanting to be the master instead of the servant! This is fear of taking any risks! This is becoming a prisoner in my own filth because I don't want that uncomfortable sensation of pushing against something and finding resistance.
God has placed many doors in front of me. May I have the courage to give them a hearty shove and move forward and not remain a prisoner in my own fear and passivity.
This is one of the many attractive and intricate doorways I walked past in San Francisco, California.