Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bogie

God waits for you. He always will…

I spent well over a year with Humphrey Bogart, or as we called him “Bogie” and he was every bit as spunky as his namesake. He did not play gangsters in the movies however, but played in all the gutters throughout our neighborhood. We watched football games together; any time it looked like the Tide was in trouble I called for him. Basketball was his favorite though. He would watch the ball bounce from net to net with fascination. And he was one of the craziest cats we ever had growing up.
He had quite the personality and sometimes an awful bedside manner, but he gave us lots of entertainment including finishing off my dad’s milkshake one time. Sometimes he was really sweet. I spent a lot of time teaching him about life when he was a kitten and making obstacle courses for him to run through. Other times he did not want to be messed with and wanted to do his own thing. This caused some friction as I happen to be of the school that if you are going to have a pet, they need to be of service when you want them for something.
But alas, cats are very independent spirits. There were some days that I would go to pick him up or hold him and he would resist. Bogie would pull away and scowl at me and try everything to get me to put him back down. I am usually a natural cat whisperer, so Bogie was definitely somewhat of a personal challenge.
One day I had an inspired idea. Instead of forcing Bogie to come to me, I tried something a little different. I entered the garage and simply sat down on an old recliner we had out there. I didn’t go up to him or call him; I just sat nearby and waited. I gave him the option to respond how he wanted. Bogie just watched me for a few seconds, but then he got up and stretched and walked towards the chair. He climbed up in my lap and began purring and rubbing against me with affection. He apparently appreciated having the choice.
As I sat there it dawned on me that as much as I enjoy spending time with him when I make the first move (or force him), it was so much better when he willingly and freely came to me. I knew he wanted to be with me because he had chosen it own his own.
And what an incredible picture that is of our relationship with Christ. God is always near and He longs to spend time with us, but too often we resist. We want to do our own things. We are independently in control of our lives and we miss out on the benefit of relationship. God will never force us to spend time with Him, but waits patiently for us to choose Him on our own.
We have a hard time with this for some reason though. I don’t think a lot of our generation understands relationship with God. They believe He exists, but they have no real concept of who He is. It’s like a foggy image of the great and powerful Oz, but they never get to know the person behind the voice. We are taught to love God, but do we know God? Learning about God is fundamentally important, but at some point we have to discover God. He has to be real to us.
I can’t do that for you, but I can tell you that the Creator of the Universe knows you, loves you and longs for you to include Him in your life. He is sitting close by hoping you will make a move towards Him. He already made the first one at the cross. Let us live with abandon, letting go of temporary stability and control so that we may experience the presence of God in our lives. Take the risk. Make the move. Climb up next to Him and build a relationship geared for eternity. You’ll never be the same.
I imagine the joy I felt when Bogie came to me that day is only a fraction of the way Heaven celebrates our steps towards Christ. Don’t miss out on the greatest asset you could ever have because you don’t know the Giver. He waits for you. He always will…
-Only Hope-Here's looking at you.

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