Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doors, cats and blessings

Our cat, bless her heart, cannot abide a closed door. She may avoid my office all morning, but as soon as I shut the door I see her paw poking around underneath. She is especially intrigued by the bathroom. Most cats that have taken up residence with our family have learned to avoid the bathroom. While there are rolls of toilet paper presenting interesting entertainment possibilities there are also several serious water hazards to contend with.

This cat, however, cannot walk past the bathroom door without inspecting the other side. She is especially curious if the door is open just a crack.

Can't. . . .walk . . . .past . . . .must . . . .get . . . .in. . . .somehow. . .mew.

We have noticed that she has not been able to figure out the door for this particular room. All she has to do is lean on the door, ever so slightly and the wonders of the bathroom are hers for the taking. All she has to do is lean on the door, yet she still reaches her paw around the corner in order to gain entrance, which only serves to move the door toward closing. It is a curious game.

Apparently, in this house anyway, cats and their owners are easily entertained.

I wonder how often I am that cat trying in vain to open one of God's doors for my life? The door is open; all I have to do is walk in. Still, I struggle with the door, certain that there is some trick I must perform to gain entrance to my God and His gifts for me.

Hmmm, maybe if I try my other paw? Nope, that's not working either.

Grace, forgiveness, mercy, unconditional love, they all sound too good to be true. Is God really going to give me all these things without my earning them first? Has He really gone to the trouble of leaving the door ajar so I have complete and easy access? My faith knows the answer is a resounding yes. Yes, God loves me no matter what I do, or what I neglect to do. Yes, Jesus reaches out with His nail scarred hands to forgive me over and over and over again. Yes, His Spirit lives in me, nurturing my faith and reminding me of His grace and mercy. My faith says yes.

But my pride says no. No, I need to do good works to stay on the right side of that door. No, I need to worry over my own troubles because God is too busy to bother with me. No, I need to complete a list of activities that will result in advanced Biblical understanding and superior prayer performance. My pride says no, no, no, because in my pride, I think it really is all about me.

And yet, the door stands ajar; my Savior on the other side with open arms of comfort and love. God's plan for my life progresses even while I waste my time trying to pull at a door that doesn't even need pushing.

Our daughter Anne has walked through one of God's doors. The opportunity to teach at a local Catholic school was presented to her. She spent the previous week getting the room ready and living, breathing, sleeping curriculum. This week the teaching has begun and as her family we are the beneficiaries of many good stories about her students. She is learning how to share God's love while being careful not to step on Catholic toes. She is learning to love her students. She is feeling God's love. I am so very glad she has walked through that door and stepped into the beginning of the ministry God has planned for her.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7: 7-11

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:9

There is so much goodness to be had by leaning on that door and walking in.