I’ve had people tell me that I oversimplify things, that I try to reduce everything to the most elemental level possible. They’re right. I actually LIKE to do that; to find ways that simple things CAN explain, do explain, complicated matters. Here’s one for you: “Some people are like cats and some are like dogs.” I’m sure you’ve heard of this idea before. It’s not new, just true.
Take cats. They’re an independent lot. Fascinating. On a good day they’ll purr and rub up against you, even crawl up in your lap and let you pet them as long as they want. They’re soft and cuddly. Often they’re very expressive. They have any number of different “meows” to tell you what they want or need. But don’t get crossways with them. They may not talk to you or get close to you for a week. And when you try to get them to do something they don’t want to do, forget it. If you’re wondering who is the master and who is the pet, you obviously haven’t been around cats much. Oh and have you noticed the disdain they have for dogs? You’ve probably seen an 80 lb dog back down from a 10 lb cat. And what about quick response to direction? Even when they’re accustomed to doing something you want them to, they have to take time for a little grooming. Their timing, their rules, their game, their way.
On the other hand, take dogs. Some little, some big. Almost all are just DRIVEN by this desire to please their master. They may have been in the crate for hours, but when you come home and let them out, they try to lick you to death. They’re wagging their tails so hard they can hardly stand up. They run in circles to entertain you and let you know how much they missed you. If you let them, they’ll follow you wherever you go, wind, snow, sleet, rain, or dead of night. And they’re really protective of the master and his or her clan. Again, little or big, old or young; if anyone attacks, they are ready, willing and often able to defend. Even when the master is old or broke or really cranky, even when he beats his dog for something he didn’t do, the dog is there to please, to worship the ground he walks on.
You probably already know the punch line: “Some people are like cats and some are like dogs.” It’s almost exactly like that other line: “Some people are believers, some are skeptics.” It gets really close to home when you think about peoples’ attitudes about God. Some are like cats: at best they see God as a means to an end. He’s Someone who can help ‘em when they really need help. They see Him as a rule-maker who you obey when it’ll help you, and who you ignore the rest of the time. They think that it’s silly to really trust God, when things are not going their way.
But take dogs. People generally make fun of people who love God as much as dogs love their masters. The world thinks that people who trust God through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, are just idiots. Cat people think dog people are just dorks. But somewhere in the Bible it says that we’re supposed to keep on loving God, and seeking God, and following God, and trusting God, and sticking up for God, with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength; just like dogs do with their masters. Maybe we just can’t be as totally committed to God as a dog is to his master, but that should always be our goal.