<%image(20060307-Bailey Couch.jpg|300|255|BaileyBunny)%> I promised myself that I would not become a blithering bunny enthusiast on this blog. I promised myself that I wouldn’t bore people with rabbit stories. But yesterday I was doing something quite serious, which I’ll eventually get to, and was interrupted by Bailey, our Mini Rex rabbit.
While sitting on the couch, reading theology books, and thinking deep theology thoughts, I was also enjoying Bailey’s company. I had arranged a blanket into a kind of nest since he’s usually dopey in the afternoon. He would hop around, sniff me a bit, climb on my lap, and then scuttle back to his blanket to loaf around. Sometimes he would come over for a taste of my theology book or the prayer magazine by my side . . . he eats that stuff right up.
All was fine and calm until I looked up. His body was stretched out to the limit vertically as if he was about the scale up the couch. But his face was deeply embedded into one of the divets made by the buttons in the couch. I then realized that he wasn’t just snooping around, he was chewing. His front teeth had dug right into the button, pushed it back, and made a gash in the couch. He seemed to be hanging there by his teeth alone.
He was scolded, brought back to his cage, and then I examined the damage. It’s noticable, but not as bad as it could have been. In any case, the whole episode was so amusing that I’m glad I got a good laugh out of it.
And now on to more serious thoughts . . .
How God Works On Us
As I reevaluate myself and how I spend my time, it is becoming clear to me that I tend to venture from one extreme to another. At one point in my life, I rarely prayed but read the Bible often. At other points I never shared the Gospel, but prayed a lot. And so on. It seems to me that God has most recently brought me through a season in which he has been teaching me how to share him with others and how to be a good neighbor to those around me. Bible study has been a bit low on the list, while prayer is more regular than it’s been in a while (but I still feel that this is a weak area).
In my humble beginnings to reestablish regular prayer and meditation/study on/of scripture, I have begun to wonder if this shifting is how God works on us. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that God highlights something in our lives, brings it front and center, allows other issues to fade for a season, and then hammers that one area home. He eventually works us back to the other areas, but not until he’s taught us a thing or two.
Is it safe to say that this is part of the sanctification process? If so, what does that teach us?
I think that we expect ourselves to keep all of the balls we own moving and flying through the air. We try to juggle everything at once and end up failing. We could put all but two or three balls down, work on them, and gradually add a few more over time.
I think that is a particularly Western/American tendency, though I’m sure we don’t have the corner on it. We want to see simultaneous growth in every area of our lives. We want to operate at peack efficiency. We want to be as close to perfect as possible.
And then God decides to make me more aware of my inability to share the Gospel. He plants new desires in my heart, has the Spirit lead me in new directions, and gently puts aside some very important areas for a time. After his work is done, he moves the other areas back into place, but things all work together more smoothly and with greater consistency. The change he brought to one area actually benefits every aspect of my Christian life.
I got this far and then the rabbit began chewing on the couch. So that’s it for now!