My 8-year-old daughter has been begging for a cat for years. Let me just say that I had never been persuaded by any of her arguments. I thought two dogs and two kids made for a full house. I was probably right. However, Cadyn is good at a handful of things, and one of those things is being cute. She continued begging us for a cat, and finally, we caved in. We got her a cat a little over a month ago. After a proper vetting process, he was named Chester Jay. In general, everyone in the house likes Chester Jay, and he tolerates us.

However, I thought that the cat especially liked me. I will tell you why. I still get up between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m. every day to run. When I would wake up and had the house to myself, Chester would totally befriend me. He meowed, rubbed against my legs, and sat on the coffee table with me while I put my shoes on. I thought the cat loved me. Boy, was I wrong. Turns out he was just begging for something he wanted: food. Once I gave him food, he left me alone and could care less about me.

I will not lie; my feelings were hurt a little. I really thought Chester Jay and I had a good friendship. As it turns out, I was just being used … being played.

As mad as I was at Chester, I started to think about my own relationship with God. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, I was a lot like that cat. God heard from me frequently when I needed or wanted something. However, when life was going well, I had a bad habit of ignoring God. I thought to myself, “I hope God doesn’t see me the way I see my cat.” I hope that God knows the depth of my love and devotion.

As it turns out, there is a way that I, we, all can show our love and devotion to God. I found it in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV), a verse that I wrote to you in a previous article, and it has stayed on my mind. Paul says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” In other words, that is what God wants. God wants us to always be chatting it up. We should be talking to God all the time, not just when we need something.

Well, I am no longer deceived by Chester in the mornings. The first thing I do is feed him so I will not be the recipient of any begging or fake love. Yesterday morning, after I fed the cat, he wandered back over to me a few minutes later. He was back to rubbing on me and loving me.

I figured he was out of food. So, I went to the porch to dispense some more grub. As it turns out, he had a little food left. He was just loving on me for the sake of loving on me! I could not have been more delighted in the moment. When we come to God just to be in his presence, God must feel that same great sense of joy!

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