Yes, we have a 120 pound Rottweiler, Mufasa who serves as a great deterrent for anyone who even thinks about coming up our driveway. He is on an invisible fence system where he is free to roam about an acre or so of our property encircling our home. Not only going with my "free-range" mindset (meaning my chickens and even our bunnies)....but I never understood how a dog that is tied up can do anything in the way of protection.
We also feel we are doing our community service by helping joggers or bicyclists keep up their desired heart rate and increase their speed when they choose our road as part of their workout.
You probably know how invisible fences work......basically Mufasa wears a receiver on his collar that will first signal him that he is approaching the boundary.....and then give him a pretty good zap if he proceeds any closer. Of course we had to buy the super duper stubborn dog version as we have found out he is very very
We also have three barn cats who know that boundary very well. So well that they choose to torture Mufasa by sitting one foot behind the wire. They just sit there......you know that "cat" sarcastic stance.....sitting with head held high, blinking their eyes slowly and swishing only the end of their tail like a cracking whip. Sometimes, they even get as comfortable with knowing he is unable to get any closer by laying down and grooming themselves. Lord help them when he decides that the jolt is worth it and charges at them which he will do once in awhile if he is up for some excitement. This usually ends with them up in some tree with their little furry kitty hearts pounding at about 200 beats per minute.
This morning, I went out to do the early morning duties of getting all the animals situated and fed. Usually I wait for N and E to wake up, as this is their chore.......but I felt like getting a jump start on the day. I also decided it would be a nice time to have a little morning conversation with God, so after the gang was all taken care of, I went inside to grab my coffee cup.
I sat down near our little fire pit and just glanced around, listening to the chickens clucking away......watching all the squirrels scamper from tree to tree. I looked over to my right and saw Mufasa and one of those cats in another one of their "staredown" showdowns. (I couldn't tell you which one because we have three identical cats.....all the same size, all black, all with yellow/green eyes). I thought again about how confident and comfortable that cat was to tempt his fate with that drooly monster less than three feet away, just waiting to pounce on him. (For the record, I will tell you that Mufasa is not the beast that he appears to be. He has cornered these guys in the garage many times and we found out that all he wants to do is pin them down and slobber all over them.......it's actually kinda funny to see the cats when he is done licking them from head to toe.......they have this disgusted look on them like they feel violated!)
Anyway.....watching that cat made me think about how sometimes we can get too comfortable in our physical life AND our spiritual life. We can become complacent and maybe even too confident.....then we must face consequences for our actions (or lack of)
For example......I get too comfortable eating nachos every night. I justify it that I work out, have dropped a few pounds/inches so it's OK. Then I start working out less (probably because I feel like crapola from all that junk) and then wonder why my jeans are not fitting so great anymore.
Same goes for my spiritual life. Although I do try to seek Him in my everyday life......the truth is.....life gets busy and He is not always at the forefront of my thoughts when I am trying to keep this house somewhat clean/organized, homeschooling chaos, keeping food in our fridge, clean clothes on our backs and shoveling goat poop. (although most of the time, when I am cleaning the barn, I do talk to God.......not sure how crazy He about that atmosphere and me smelling pretty rank......but we have some GOOD talks)
So yeah, when things are going pretty well, I might find myself getting comfortable with just "touching base" with God once a day, most likely at night before I go to bed. I thank Him for the day He has given me and my family, keeping us healthy and safe and sometimes I'll add in a little prayer request. I find that sometimes I get so wrapped up in a busy life that I am seeking Him less throughout the day. I am faced with decisions/choices and make them without seeking His Counsel. So then I make poor decisions based on looking inward rather than UP, and then I have to deal with the adverse reactions later. And when these repercussions creep up, I find myself showing up in prayer with a big ole mess asking God for help. Of course He is always there waiting ever so patiently for me with open forgiving arms......but wouldn't this all have been so much easier and probably avoidable had I kept Him close all along.
I think the enemy waits for us to get into that comfort zone so that he can pounce on us unexpectedly. Getting too comfortable can cause us to be complacent and too confident. Perfect scenario for him to knock us down. Here's a visual.....It's like that "sitting duck" term, referring to the ease with which the hunter can shoot it in contrast to one in flight. Perfect scenario for him to pick us off unless we are alert, protected and ready for any battle (spiritual, physical, financial, etc) with the armor of God.
So funny how we run to God in the times when we are "reaping" less, but we fail to realize it is only because we have been "sowing" less, isn't it? And this isn't only in a financial sense.....sometimes I crave to have an even closer, more spiritual relationship with God. I want to hear Him speak to me.....I want a revelation. But then I don't pick up my Bible in a week or devote even 15 extra "still" minutes to just be with Him for days on end.
So today.....I pray that I don't get too comfortable in my walk with you God. I know that life is only comfortable because of YOU, so I want to continue to give You all the glory and exercise my faith by putting more effort into our relationship. I don't want to put myself in a vulnerable place getting too comfortable with the blessings you have given me. I know You want me to be happy and want only good in my family's lives, but this doesn't mean I shouldn't make greater effort to do better every day because You deserve that effort. I don't want to take You for granted and keep You only at arm's reach. I also want to come to You more often with THANK YOU rather than PLEASE.
I hope this finds you on fire for God.....and if not, I hope it lit one under you today! I know I needed it ;)