A few months ago, as I drove from Colorado Springs to my job in Wamsutter, Wyoming, I endured the screams of a young kitten named Tuxedo, calling out from his carrier. He wanted his freedom. And he knew that I could give it to him, if I wanted. He didn’t realize that the reason he was contained was for his own safety. I knew that if he was loose in the car, he might find his way to the floor beneath my feet and interfere with my driving. His safety, as well as my own, was best maintained by his being secured in the zipped-up bag.
He didn’t care. He meowed, growled and spit at me for the full 6-hour drive. I enjoyed silence for about 50 miles or so, other than that, he was the noisiest little critter I have ever heard. And we were both trapped; he in his carrier, me in the car with him. I called my wife and said, “He’s never going to make up with me. He will hate me.”
The experience reminded me of a childhood dream. I remember praying to God that he would give me the power to fly. I idolized Superman. So, it only goes to reason that I would want to have his superpower. I thought if I prayed hard enough that God would give it to me. After all, he could if he wanted to…
How many times do we do this? Beg, plead, cajole or bargain with God for something that we want. Promising to do something in return if he will only give us what we ask. A better job, more money, heal a sickness, repair relationships – things we know would simply complete our life – but things that remain out of reach. Good things held back by a God who could fix everything if he just would take the time to answer our pleas.
Are we like this 8-week-old kitten? We want what we want. Period. We know what is best, if he would just speak the words and provide it. We know he can.
We know that, for some reason, he holds back.
We become stiff-necked and resistant, we challenge him, we shake our fists at him, we insist that he respond in the way we want. Growling, grumbling, crying and carrying on just like this little kitten. All the while, he isn’t holding back just because he can. He holds back because he knows what will happen. He knows the end of the story.
His goal for us is only the best. Heaven. With him. Our temporary comfort is not in our best interest, he is not swayed to give in by our constant complaining. This is not to say that he is unconcerned and doesn’t care that we are hurting in many ways. But he knows these are temporary problems. He is looking toward the future, not the now.
Arriving in Wyoming, I released Tuxedo into his new home. The car carrier won’t make another trip, since he shredded the netting in several places. Fortunately, he is at his final destination.
Not only is he very happy here, but he loves me – it’s almost like I never withheld his freedom at all. Heaven is within reach, God knows what is best, even when we disagree.
Freedom reigns. Maybe in Heaven, my final destination, I will be able to fly…I can hope, can’t I?