Monday, December 5, 2016

Mary Had a Choice

This time of year, many of us turn our thoughts to the birth of Christ.  Most of us know He was born to the virgin, Mary.  A lot probably even know all of the details surrounding His conception and birth.  But did you know Mary had a choice?  I hadn't really thought about it, but it was the topic of the sermon at church yesterday.  It really resonated with me as something to ponder, and I want to share my thoughts with you.

In Luke 1:34, Mary says to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  In verse 38 she is found say, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word."  That's where she chooses.  She questioned-as any of us likely would-how this plan could possibly come to pass, since in the physical world in which we live it would be impossible.  Once she hears what God's plan is, she fully submits to Him.  

In the sermon yesterday, John 2:5 came up as well.  Mary had some advice that all of us should heed.  She and Jesus are at a wedding feast in Cana.  The hosts run out of wine.  She calls to her Son and asks Him to do something.  He replies that His time has not yet come, but she says to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  It's that simple.  Whatever Jesus says to us to do, we need to do it. 

I'll say this, many of us think simple means easy.  It doesn't.  One definition is, "readily understood or performed."  Whatever Jesus commands is readily understood and performed.  Easy means, "causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort".  If you've been a believer for any length of time, you probably already know that there are still difficulties and discomfort.  Do you think Mary experienced any difficulty or discomfort after accepting God's plan and submitting to it?  A young, unwed woman, pregnant?  Do you think her family and neighbors believed her when she told them how she had conceived?  Probably not.  She faced plenty of trials after choosing God's plan, and we should expect no less.

More of Mim (Even though there's less of her)

She's a wonderful cat, full of spunk, love and curiosity.  I'm sure glad we spent the money to amputate her arm and keep her around!  Every morning when I get up, she runs to her food dish, expecting me to stand there and watch her eat.  If I take even one step over to turn the tea kettle on, she thinks I'm leaving and stops eating.  When I'm not the first one up, she still waits outside my room for me to watch her eat.  Tell me I'm not the only cat owner whose cat insists that they watch him or her eat.  Anyone else have a cat like that?

After that, she's revved up and ready to play!  A missing front leg has done very little to slow her down.  I don't think she'll ever catch another mouse or lizard-and not because she doesn't go outside much-but because she can't sneak up on anyone or anything with her limping hop movement.  As we sit on the couch, kids on the floor, reading from our Bibles, she's running around looking for the next thing to attack.  It might be the foot of an unsuspecting, trustworthy child, or a dangling robe tie, or sometimes nothing at all.  If we fail to interact with her enough, she'll entertain herself-sitting on a dining table chair, she'll pretend there are things through the rails to grab, or run around in circles chasing her tail.  Sometimes I'll get a ruler and run it along the back side of the rails and she'll poke her paw through each rail trying to get it.  She waits at the end of the couch, hiding and ready to pounce on the next unsuspecting passer-by.

What I enjoy about this process is seeing her former personality shine through.  It confirms for me that we did the right thing, that she still had plenty of life in her and a desire to live after her electrocution.  I'm grateful to God that my husband acquiesced his original position that we not spend that much money on an animal.  He's glad we did it too, and says so often..  In the short time in the morning when I'm awake before my kids, sitting on the couch to read, she comes along waiting to attack something up there.  Her eyes are amazing!  The pupils will be narrow slits while she just sits there, but I know when she's ready to attack because the pupils enlarge and the BAM!  That one good leg, with claws out, is reaching for my hand!

Like most cats, she spends the rest of the day lounging.  If she sees me go to the kitchen, sometimes she'll run in to get a safe bite to eat.  We've gotten to a point where we let her go outside for short periods on her own.  She prefers the dirt outside to the litter in her box, and we prefer the smell stay out there too, so we just make a mental note that she's outside and usually she comes back to the sliding glass door to let us know she's ready to come in.

Most nights she cuddles on the couch with us while we read or watch our current favorite TV series on Netflix.  She aims for one more chance to eat while I'm in the kitchen, and then curls up on the bed with us.  I used to be careful not to bump her when I moved, but then realized that she doesn't care if I do-she'll just come right back and plop down wherever she pleases.  Sometimes she ventures away and sleeps with one of the kids, and they always love waking up and seeing her on their bed!

This past weekend, we were gone a lot and I think she missed us.  Every chance she had, she was curled up right next to me.  She brings us great joy, amusement and entertainment, so glad we still have her!