I'm sitting here trying to write, but am completely distracted by the cat perched on my knee. When I first sat down, I searched YouTube for a video with instrumental music. I found one that had footage of nature scenes to play in the background while I work. After several minutes, I noticed that my cat had not curled up next to me or settled into a cat-loaf on my leg. Instead, she was sitting on the edge of my knee, bolt upright, staring at the screen. That's when I realized that in the video I'd chosen, every couple scenes there'd be a bird. She was waiting with anticipation through images of snowy trees and icy rivers for another glimpse at a bird hanging onto a branch in the wind, cleaning its feathers, or eating seeds off a tree stump. No matter how many scenes came in between, her attention was fixed. I'm pretty sure she didn't blink for a solid five minutes. Even her tail was still. It's never still.
As a cat lady, I think there's a lot to be learned from cats in general. Personal hygiene should be a priority, you shouldn't worry too much about how others judge you, and napping is always a good idea. But this time, I think my cat just taught me something about what our relationship with God should look like. God isn't always readily visible in my life. Would that He was! There are seasons when I see Him easily, all around me in everything I do and everywhere I go. And then there are seasons where He is not so visible. Where He is hard to find. He's still there, but I can't always see Him, or at least not in the easy way I could before. In those days or months or, heaven help me, years, it's so easy to get discouraged. To feel forgotten or abandoned. To question. Call it blind faith, but when I go to bed at night, I've never questioned whether or not the sun will rise the next day, and yet I sometimes question whether the God who created that sun will still be there with me in the morning. In those seasons, that's when I need to be like my cat. Fixated, trusting and anticipating with palpable excitement what He's going to do next and when He'll appear. Ready for a glimpse of Him whenever He shows himself.
So, here is the strangest prayer I've ever prayed:
God, let us be more like cats: prioritizing personal hygiene, caring less about what others think of us, taking advantage of a chance to nap, and fixated on you, even when you're sometimes hard to see.