Saturday, February 21, 2009

Come and dine

My weekday morning routine includes a few minutes of mommy-time with my four canine children. Yesterday, I was finishing up a piece of coffee cake before leaving for work. Three of the four pups were sitting at my feet, looking innocent and cute, waiting - and drooling - for the anticipated bite of cake. I cut the last piece into four bites and started handing out the treat. But the fourth dog still hadn’t made her appearance in the kitchen. I called her two or three times before she trotted around the corner and took her treat out of my hand. She had been laying in the living room, in front of the fireplace, staying warm.

The strange thing about this is: all of the dogs usually congregate in the kitchen with us because there is always a chance they will get thrown a bite of what’s being prepared. They don’t usually have to be called – it’s more likely that we have to shoo them out of the room!

Spot, Chelsey, Carmella, Pearl & Bear

My first reaction when having to call Pearl more than once was one of irritation. Who has to call a dog to eat, anyway?

On the way to work, I mulled this over. And wondered if God gets irritated with me when He calls me to dine at His table, and I’m busy sitting by the fire, staying warm. This doesn’t mean that I’m always sitting idle, doing nothing. It could be that I have become too busy to sit with Him and sup with Him. But sadly, I’m often in my comfortable zone, doing what I’m comfortable doing, and miss His entreaty to join Him for Father-time.

The passage in Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) came to mind:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Too often, I’ve been Martha. Busy working, and missing out on the best in order to accomplish the good. Yes, the work has to be done … needs to be done. But when I've only made time to do the work, to stay occupied by something else rather than sitting still in His presence, then I’ve sold myself short by missing out on the main thing.

The main thing is a sweet, deep relationship with my Savior. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” When I am invited to have dinner with friends, it’s not just about eating. It’s about the fellowship. The bonding. The caring for one another. If I miss that dinner appointment, I’ve missed much more than a meal.

The Savior invites us to spend time with Him. He is the Lover of our souls and He wants us to know Him, love Him, to crave His very presence like He craves ours. When we've reached that place in our relationship, He won't have to call us into His presence. We'll be there already.

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