Bandit is like every other cat in the world. He eats and sleeps whenever he feels like it. He does whatever he wants to, and goes wherever he wants to, and lives the vida loca in my house while surveying all the humans that live inside with him.
Now, Bandit isn't the most friendly cat in the world. As you can see from the picture above, he pretty much has that "Ohhhhh Mommmmmm" teenager look down pretty well. Whenever I try to admonish him, or even get his attention, he responds with that look to make sure that I know that he knows that I have no real control over whatever he does. He kind of smacks his lips in distain whenever I reach out my hand, wiggling fingers and all, to tempt him into my arms. And then he turns his back on me to let me know that I really could go jump in the lake and of course, his furry self would not even care one bit.
Bandit keeps a safe distance from us, watching our daily activities at about 2 feet away. We've realized that he's set that up as a parameter of comfort for him. If we walk his way, he runs away to a safer distance and then turns around to check where we are before he stops and pretends he doesn't really care where we are anyway.
Now, understand, this behavior goes on all day....until....Bandit WANTS our attention. Then things are different.
The other night around 3:00am, Bandit decided it was time for me to pay attention to him. As I lay sleeping, Bandit jumped up on my bed and began headbutting me with the fervor of an MMA fighter. As I tried to recover from blow after blow to my unprotected skull, he began to stick his cold slimey nose into the palms of my hands and rubbing his face back and forth in my hand as if to say, "Hey, dummy! I want to be petted right now!"
With eyes closed, I began to rub dear Bandit, and he finally began purring and settled down. As I fell back to sleep, he went to the bottom of my covers and slipped between my feet. Waiting until he was sure I was sound asleep, he would bite my toes until I woke up. Then he would wait until I fell asleep again and then he would start chewing all over again. I have to admit, I'd try to kick him off the bed, but he would take that "2 feet away" stance and I never had a chance to really touch him. Silly me, I would think he was gone, fall asleep, and then wake up to kitty teeth chomping on my cold little piggies over and over.
I finally gave up and went in the front room, where Bandit sat on my lap as I stroked his long silky hair and listened to him purr. When he had his fill of human companionship, he jumped off my lap and disappeared into the dark recesses of the house to chase pretend mice. I went back to bed.
I got to thinking, that there are a lot of us who have a Bandit relationship with God.
We kind of keep our distance from God, trying to keep him at a few feet away from what we say or do. We eat and sleep and go and do whatever we want without asking God to direct our steps each day because we figure he really has no control over us or what we say or do.
Sometimes we really don't want God's input about anything but when we do, we go at Him like a boxer full of tenacity, begging for whatever it is we want Him to do for us. We pray and pray and pray and yell, "HEY! Listen to me NOW!" Even when we're asleep, if we wake up we remember to bug God if we want something & keep nibbling at his toes over and over until we get an answer to our prayer. And then we go back to the 2 foot stance, making sure God leaves us alone and we keep a close eye on him over there.
So today I'm going to try and give up my Bandit behavior. I'm going to work to remember to put God first and foremost in everything I do. I'm not going to keep Him at arm's length, not even by accidentally forgetting to pray to start my day with His direction. And I'm certainly not going to wait until 3:00am to wake up and bug Him for something.
I'm going to thank Him all day long. Praise Him at every moment, even for little things. Tell Him how much I love Him and appreciate His sacrifice at Calvary for me, too. Unlike Bandit, I don't think I'll ever get my fill of His companionship....and that's just 'purrrrrrrfect'.