“Here kitty, kitty, kitty. Here kitty, kitty.” I used my best syrupy sweet voice to lure kitty out of hiding. “Here kitty, kitty, kitty.” But, kitty called my ruse and remained hidden. I tried a different tactic. If sweet wasn’t working I would be firm and commanding. “Kitty, you come out right now or we are going to leave you here all alone.” No kitty appeared. “Kitty, I’m not kidding, if you don’t come out right now we will leave you.” But, kitty ignored me and did not appear.
Brett came inside from loading up the suitcases into the car. He checked all the places in the hotel room I had just checked five minutes before and did not find kitty. We moved all the moveable furniture and still didn’t find kitty. Brett went outside to continue the search. “Here kitty, kitty, kitty,” he called while looking through the bushes and under the cars in the parking lot. No kitty appeared. I continued to alternate between sweetness and tartness while calling kitty inside.
Brett gave up looking for kitty and asked a maid if they had seen kitty. “Towel?” was the reply. Brett talked to the front desk worker and arranged to have them call him if they saw kitty. Twelve hours later in a different hotel across the street Brett had just fallen asleep when his phone rang at midnight.
“Hello, this is Cindy at Motel 6 and we have found your cat. When we rented your room to someone tonight and they opened the door, your cat ran out. They were very surprised!”
“Really? I’m so glad you have our cat. Where is she now?”
“Ok. I’ll come right over and try to get her.”
Brett drug himself out of bed, threw on some clothes and a hat and drove across the street to Motel 6 to hunt for kitty in the darkness. But, despite his best efforts and those of the motel staff, kitty remained hidden in the darkness. Brett finally gave up and went back to bed only to be haunted by dreams of a kitty with sad eyes pathetically mewing how she was unloved and left behind.
Fast forward another 10 hours and Motel 6 called again. The maids had left the door open while cleaning our former room and kitty had run inside. The maids closed the door so kitty couldn’t leave. Brett took Aspen and they went to pick up kitty. When they entered the room, kitty had disappeared again! Where could she be hiding. The motel staff assured Brett she couldn’t be under the bed. The new beds were all designed so nothing could get under them. A few minutes later Brett heard a faint meowing sound coming from under one of the beds. Brett removed the mattress and box spring from the bed and there was kitty, hiding under the bed. He reached for her and she dodged his reach. Finally, Brett succeeded at being faster than a cat and kitty was safely tucked into her cat carrier.
A couple of hours later we made a trip to Wal-Mart and checked out the cat aisle for something to help calm kitty. We decided on a cat pheromone collar. We took it back to the hotel and adjusted it on kitty’s neck. Almost immediately she turned into a ‘love me, pet me kitty.’ She actually walked over to us to be petted rather than balefully looking at us and daring us to come closer so she could scratch us.
The pheromones in the collar help to make kitty feel calm. Without them she is inherently afraid of nearly everything. In the presence of Jesus I can be calm because His presence changes my perspective of the outcome in any given situation. In a situation where I might ordinarily feel afraid, I am not worried about what the future holds because I know who holds the future. It’s not me, it’s God.
Without the love of God, without the humility of Jesus in my heart I am just like kitty. But when I let Jesus change me He gives me a new heart. Instead of instinctively running from Him, I run to Him. Instead of returning his love with resistance, I run towards it. Just like kitty needed pheromones to produce a pleasant personality, I need God’s love and humility to produce the gifts of the spirit. God’s humility is the soil that they grow in.
I’m reminded of the words to the old country song, “Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.” It’s impossible to have humility under our own power. It’s just not natural for us to lay down our lives for others, to put them first while we go second, third or last. We can only live like Jesus when Jesus is in our hearts. Our lives, our hearts, must be a living example of Jesus. Let’s ask God today for the fertile ground of humbleness in our hearts. Only in the fertile ground of our humbleness can the seeds of God’s love sprout and grow into the fruits of the spirit. Our humbleness is the soil that allows the seeds He plants in our lives to grow and then produce the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22,23)