Let us not wander from home

Last night we had an incident that was very frightening. We live with four animals, two cats and two dogs. This, in and of itself, may be considered scary, but everyone lives in relative peace and tranquility, notwithstanding the occasional skirmish.

The tabby cat, Mufasa, enjoys trying to open doors and escape. He has gotten lost in the past so we generally remember to keep the doors locked. Except when we don’t. Last night I had sat down to journal and I heard the door opening. I looked up to see that it was ajar and that three of the four animals were gone.

The little, old West Highland white terrier was snoozing happily at my feet. When I looked outside, the enormous Leonberger was smiling at me and the cat who was the culprit, Mufasa, was hiding like a naughty child. I picked him up, got scratched for my loving efforts, cajoled the large dog inside and realized, to my abject horror, that our little white cat, Kalise, was gone!

I wondered if she had stayed in and I looked under everything to no avail. Gone.

I went up and down the stairs calling for her until one of the neighbors told me she had run into his house. She was there, indeed, shivering and shaking with terror but wouldn’t let me pick her up to take her home. Finally, with the help of the neighbor, I did manage to hold her and she wriggled out of my arms and ran up one flight of stairs and tried to open the wrong door, which remained, obviously, locked.

She then ran to our home, and tried to open our locked door. She buffeted herself against it again and again. I held my key and opened it and she ran right in and hid under our bed until she heard her dinner being poured. She slept all night long snuggled against my daughter.

Finding Lessons

I thought, as I always ask my students, about the lessons for life inherent in this saga, which, thank God, turned out to be o.k. rather than an abject disaster!

The first one is that it is fine and even good to knock on a door. If it opens, then, by all means, go through! But don’t try to pull, manipulate, or slowly open something that you know is closed for a reason. You will get into trouble and perhaps get others in trouble, as well. One cat opened the door and the other cat got lost! Not to mention the dog that was on her way down the stairs!

The second lesson is that not every wide open door is yours to go through! The neighbor had been washing his floor. The cat ran into a home that was not hers. It was a temporary respite, but it wasn’t her home.

The third is that even when we find our door, and it is locked, we can buffet against it until we wear ourselves out physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but it will not open until the Master opens it for us. Then, we are free to enter.

The open and closed doors pertain to our thoughts, as well. If we entertain negative and angry thoughts, feeding them and reinforcing them, they will loom larger and larger, drowning out the peace that is ours to remain within. We may find ourselves in the wrong place, hiding under a bed, or struggling against the very arms that are trying to carry us to safety.

Winter is coming; we have had our first rain. Many of us are blessed with warm and cozy homes, full of warmth and love. Let us not wander from our home, His will. Let us take this lesson to heart, and remain within the confines He has prescribed for us.

This article originally appeared on First Fruits of Zion, November 28, 2016, and reposted with permission.