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Lessons From Animals--"Reflect"

"Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this."
2 Timothy 2:7


It's been several months, now, since I moved to my new home (and indeed, my new life); I've had considerable time to reflect.

That cats are happy in our new home. This miss wandering outside, which we cannot do here, but they are actually more active in chasing and playing with each other than they have been for awhile. This is all a blessing.

Good memoriesYet I find that I terribly miss the girls, Kasey and Annie. From time to time, friends ask me if I'll get a new dog. The answer is always "no." Firstly, I'm simply not in a place where I can have, or handle, a dog; more importantly, though, is this: if I were able to have dogs, I would want to have Kasey and Annie. However, I know they are doing well. I hear tidbits about them: Annie, of course, still adores Kasey; and Kasey is still mischievous as ever, taking it upon herself to escape from her kennel and wander about her new home. They are doing well--yet I miss them.

What are we to do when we reflect upon our lives, and in that reflection find we are not entirely satisfied? I offer three suggestions:

The first is to remember our blessings. My new home is good, and the cats are with me. This is a blessing. Kasey and Annie's new home is good. They have a good family who cares for them well, and they have each other. This, too, is a blessing. Sometimes, when we experience difficulties or hardships, we forget that there are still blessings in our lives--and we need to remember that. Jesus once said, in Revelation 2:9a, "I know your afflictions and your poverty--yet you are rich!" Remember your blessings.

The second suggestion is to consider whether there is something we can change. When we reflect upon our lives, and find some matters about which we are unsatisfied--can we change that? Once again in Revelation (2:5a here), Jesus advises: "Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first." Do other days seem to carry fonder memories? "It just seems I was happier back then." Well, perhaps the answer is to return to that better time! For instance, sometimes we just don't feel as strong in the faith as we once did. Yet maybe part of the reason is that we've neglected certain spiritual practices--such as praying, or worshiping--that were once a regular part of our life; and perhaps we need to do the things we did at first. Perhaps it's possible to change some of the unhappy things in our lives.

But it's not always possible to make such changes. For example, returning to the girls: it would be unwise for me to go get Kasey and Annie and bring them to my new home. For one, such an act would be seriously selfish; even more so, it wouldn't be good for the girls. Sometimes there are things in our lives that we simply cannot change. In times such as these, Proverbs 3:5 - 6 perhaps offers the best advice: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

As you reflect on your life, what do you discover? Are there parts of your life you'd like to change? It may be possible! If not, though, then these are the times in which we fall upon God's care. Isaiah 33:6 says it best: "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure."


In Christ,


--Pastor Dan


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