I love the still quietness of early morning. All seems best with my world at that time of day and it is then that I spend time with God. I need this first thing because I know if I don’t do it first, it likely won’t get done at all, and I need His guidance throughout my day. I protect myself as best I can from distractions, yet the minute I settle into my reading chair, one of my cats, Samantha, begins pacing from side to side looking for lap space. For the longest, it annoyed me and I would push her away. This was my time, I wanted focus, and her need for attention complicated that.
One morning it occurred to me that I wasn’t appreciating the importance of Samantha’s need. Siamese cats are very people-oriented. They can do without feline relationship but they need humans. So, I decided to change my attitude. Rather than being frustrated with Samantha’s determination to be in my lap, I would make her welcome and see if we could reach a compromise on the first moments of the day.
Samantha led me easily into the routine she wanted: a kiss on top of her head, followed by a little scratching around her ears and chin. Her eyes stare dead into mine as I croon to her how special she is. I rub the sides of her face and she leans into my hand to get the full benefit of pressure massage. After a few concentrated minutes of attention, Samantha is satisfied enough to leave my lap and go on with her day so that I can get on with mine. By considering her needs as also important and making a slight adustment, we both now have frustration-free mornings.
Samantha depends on my love for her, just as I depend on God’s for me. She needs to trust my availability, just as I trust God’s for me. We are actually seeking the same things: time, trust and relationship. One thing for sure, God never pushes me away, annoyed with my wanting time with Him, and it was that reflection that caused me to rethink how I wanted to respond to Samantha.
There is a bigger lesson here: Often times, things seem problematic when they don’t have to be. Sometimes all it takes is looking at a problem from another perspective. When we loosen the grip on our need enough to respect another’s as being just as important, good, workable solutions can be found.
‘Love is patient and kind . . . It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV).
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:24 ESV).