Our cat, Lucifer, makes bad choices and ends up lost, alone and cold. We do, too, when we refuse to wait upon the LORD and hope in the LORD. When we make bad choices by rebelling against the timing of God and against the ways of God.
Our cat, Lucifer, dashed past us. Out our front door. Down the hill along our 100 foot driveway.
This happened years ago. We still lived in Western New York. It was early winter. Cold and snowy with long nights.
Lucifer (and our other two cats) clearly were pestering us to get south to our house in Florida for the winter. They couldn’t talk in Human. But we could tell what they were thinking. And what they were “saying” in Cat. Any cat lover will know what I mean!
Lucifer decided to take things into his own hands—or maybe I should say, into his own paws.
My wife and I stood in our doorway, stunned, as Lucifer raced down our icy driveway. Lucifer strutted proudly. He stuck his long tail straight up, like a human sticking his middle finger straight up.
Our house stood on a hill. Horrified, we saw Lucifer disappear into the darkness of the cul-de-sac at the base of our driveway (where our lights couldn’t reach).
Lucifer was so proud of himself. He’d show us that he could get to Florida by himself without us.
Lucifer was unhappy about where we placed him. So Lucifer rebelled against our timing and our ways.
As I reflect on Lucifer’s misadventure now—years later—I realize that Lucifer behaved like many of us.
We are unhappy about where God has placed us. Maybe a geographical location. Maybe a job. Maybe a pandemic. Maybe a broken relationship.
Despite our unhappiness, we should wait for God to act in God’s good time and in God’s good way.
If only Lucifer had waited a few weeks, all would have gone well for him. We were going to pack all three cats in the RAV with us. As in previous years, they’d make the long trip together while remaining warm and well fed. They’d have us—and the other cats—for company.
But Lucifer wanted to act at the time he wanted and in the way he wanted. He didn’t want to put his hope in us. He didn’t want to wait for us to act at the time we wanted and in the way we wanted.
Now, he found himself lost, alone and cold.
He was heading the right direction. South. But he didn’t grasp that Florida was 1,300 miles away!
As Proverbs warns: “There is a way that seems right to a [cat], but its end is the way of death.”(Proverbs 14:12).
We called his name. We walked into the darkness searching for him.
We put lights on throughout the house, hoping he’d see where his home was.
But I take credit for the best idea. I took my dog, Toto, onto the front porch. He barked and barked, as loudly as he could. And believe me, he barks loudly!
Toto and Lucifer were good friends. Lucifer had been born in the same house where Toto lived before they both came to live with us.
After about a minute of frantic calls for Lucifer, he appeared in the darkness to my left. Suzanne raced to him, gathered him into her arms, scolded him for disobeying her, carried him into our warm house, and gave him a treat because he came home. (Luke 15:3-7).
What lessons can we humans learn from Lucifer’s experiences?
Don’t rebel against the timing and the ways of God.
Wait upon the LORD. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV). Hope in the LORD. (Isaiah 40:31 NIV).
Stop running away from the LORD! (Jonah 1:1-3; 2:1-9; 3:1-3).
Look for lights from the LORD! (John 1:1-5,9,14; Acts 16:6-10).
Listen for the voice of God. (1 Samuel 3:7-10). And for the voices of people who follow the Way of Jesus! (1 Corinthians 12:4-14).
Learn not to act at the time and in the way that I want! (1 Samuel 13:7-14).
Learn to wait upon the LORD. Learn to hope in the LORD.
Learn to act at God’s good times and in God’s good ways. (Luke 22:39-44; 23:46).
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
When have you not waited upon the LORD? How? Why?
When have you not hoped in the LORD? How? Why?
When have you rebelled against the timing and ways of the LORD? How? Why?
When have you been lost, alone and cold? How? Why?
How have you found your way home to warmth and good food?
For more of my thoughts inspired by our pets, please read my blogs “Toto Begging for Food”, “The Star of Bethlehem Was a ‘Can of Tuna Fish’”, “I Love You, Gram. Bye!”, “Eating Too Much Too Quickly”, “Stop Drinking Stagnant Water”, “Neelix: Fear not!”, “The Angel Beside Me”, “Stop Stopping Me!”, “Eat the Right Cat Food”, “Angel Knocking My Book Out of My Hands”, and “Neelix Makes Bad Choices”.
People often ask, “Why would you name a cat Lucifer?. I didn’t. My wife did. I think she partly picked that name in reaction to my naming my cat “Angel”. Also, when any of our cats make “bad choices”, she often yells at them: “Demon Cat!”.
Perhaps this story illuminates how and why the real Lucifer—Satan himself—went astray. One of the speculations about the Fall of Humanity in Chapter Three of Genesis is that—in God’s good time and in God’s good ways, Humanity would have learned good and evil, and eaten from the Tree of Life and lived forever. (Revelation 22:1-5). But heeding Lucifer’s advice and disobeying God’s command was definitely the wrong timing and the wrong way!