As we walk into the kitchen from the garage we are greeted by three cats.

There are a couple of motives for this behavior, the first has to do with food, the second appeals to their opportunistic ways, as soon as the door opens they eye it up for a potential dash to the outside…

“Back into the cold bleak world of barn-life…” I caution,

“…once outside that’s it!”  I admonish, “I’m not coming to rescue you…”  I use my foot to gently peel them backwards away from the threshold, purling their little bodies from the danger of outside…

My resolve softens when Shads darts outside one evening…he hadn’t roamed far from the safety of the truck…I know how precarious an outdoor cat’s life can be in these parts.

Adventure is all they can see, and freedom of course!

Shads thinks outside is where it’s all about.  He remembers the good things of his old life, al fresco living, running in the grass, flying up trees after squirrels, digging in flower beds, rolling in gravel, hunting for food, waiting for me to put out his kibble…

He doesn’t remember quaking at the chittering of coyotes as they prowl the pastures at night looking for small prey to still their growling tums, shivering in the cold when the temperatures plummet inside the metal and concrete barn,  seeking cover, disheveled and miserable, from the driving rain.

He just knows he wants to be on the other side of that back door!  He wants the best of both worlds,

“They’re either in, or out,” Hubs says when I mention a kitty door.

He’s right of course because we are very attached to our room-mates even if they don’t appreciate our motives.  We want them to have the best possible life in the world we’ve created for them.


I am reminded of my relationship with God.

God wants the very best for me in in the world He’s created.

I am asked to surrender to His will and enjoy inner peace and life everlasting,

to be in this world but not of it, (John 17:14-19).

But I don’t always see it that way.

The world holds many attractions for me.  As a consumer materialism probably plays a very large role in how I conduct my life, but do ‘things’ give me inner peace and life everlasting?  Hmmm.

The world tells me, ‘if it feels good, do it,’ oftentimes my most rewarding moments have been when I’ve achieved something that didn’t feel so good, like pulling yards of bramble out of acres of woods on my land, or helping my parents through their final months.

The world tells me to be true to myself which may include exclusively choosing to associate with people who belong to my social class, or using my talents to further my own agenda instead of sharing with those less fortunate than I who may benefit from my skills and hospitality.

The world tells me that acquiring large amounts of money doesn’t have to involve hard work, it can be funded by crowds, or donated to the cause,

that I’m entitled to leisure and good things,

credit cards will stretch my income,

debt is ‘what everyone does,’

and responsibility is ‘boring.’

Before I know it I’m overextended and in a trap, working for the bank and having to borrow more and more and more just to keep my wine cellar stocked and my dancing shoes well heeled.

Not that Shads is going to fall into any of those traps but he could fall into the mouth of the evil one, aka Mr. Coyote, and not live to tell the tale of how great freedom is…

When I surrender to Christ and follow His will, and keep my eyes focused on the cross, I often find it isn’t so hard, but temptations still lurk behind the back door.

For Shads, sharing the comfort and safety of my home and letting the outside world carry on without him, is freedom.

For me, living under my creator’s sovereignty is freedom.

I look down at Shads snuggled on my bed


and hope I look the same, cradled in the safety of God’s arms.

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