I write fairly often about Mr. Bear, my cat. More accurately, he is my wife’s cat, but he’s such a cool cat that I claim him. He teaches me a lot, so much so that I’m contemplating writing a book titled, “Lessons I Learned From My Cat,” or something along that line.
Mr. Bear was a Kansas kitty for most of his life. It doesn’t rain much in Kansas, and when it does, the water comes down in sheets, or raindrops the size of tennis balls. You endanger yourself if you go out in a Kansas rain without body armor and a helmet.
Now Mr. Bear lives in Western Washington. People say it always rains in Washington. That’s actually not true. It drizzles and spits a lot, and some may consider that rain. It does that all winter long, beginning in August or September, but actual rain is not a frequent visitor to Western Washington.
We have a ditch separating our back yard from the farmland between us and the Canadians. The ditch is more of a jungle to Mr. Bear. He believes himself to be King of that domain, and he’s right about that. The mice living in that ditch are his playthings, and occasionally an after-dinner snack. Other neighborhood cats know they are looking for trouble if they attempt to hunt Mr. Bear’s ditch.
Washington Winters are tough for Mr. Bear because it’s really wet outside and he doesn’t like the wetness. This is a real dilemma for him because he has to protect his kingdom. If he doesn’t regularly patrol the ditch, “Yellow and White Kitty” may trespass its boundaries, or “Bent-Tail Kitty” might make a stealth run for the jungle. This is simply unacceptable.
Initial efforts to control the ditch were limited to keeping vigil from the top step of the back deck where Mr. Bear was under cover from the rain. This meant that the ditch was several yards away, and maintaining control from such a distance is difficult. Weighing the discomfort of the wetness against the displeasure of not patrolling the ditch, Mr. Bear made the leap and became a Washington kitty. He actually walks on the wet grass and lets the raindrops land on his back. He patrols his ditch rain or shine. When he comes in the back door, drenched from head to tail, he looks pretty pathetic.
What was once anathema to me can become tolerable, and eventually ineffectual. What I would never have considered unacceptable at one time can become quite acceptable. Paul talked to Timothy about men whose conscience had been seared as with a branding iron. (1 Timothy 4:2) A seared conscience is one that has no feeling, no sensitivity. It is a conscience that has become numb to its own warnings, where it can accept just about anything, that way way Mr. Bear has learned to accept the Winter rains. The word for this searing is kauteriazo, from which we get our English term cauterized.
I don’t care for teaching that causes believers to walk on eggshells as though God is perched, ready to pounce on any misstep, and I don’t want this to be such a teaching. But I do believe it is a valid warning for us to be aware of those times and areas wherein our senses may be dulled. Always remember that Satan is a great deceiver, one who won the first battle with humanity he ever fought. Keep your senses keen and alert precisely so you will not be deceived.
Victoriously in Christ!