We have a wayward cat.
He started dashing out the door for periodic jaunts around the neighborhood long ago. Whenever we found him crouched in the woods with his bright eyes shining back at us, he’d run into the house and hide for an hour or two under the bed.
Those experiences in the wild scared him to pieces.
Still, he ran away again. And again. Today’s adventure is the longest he’s had. Escaping this afternoon, he’s still not home and it’s long past his bedtime as I write this.
We can never understand why he leaves. He’s clearly terrified of whatever is out there in the wild. He’s clearly spoiled here in our home.
And yet he runs.
A man once told me that once a cat experiences the smallest bit of life in the wild, you can never successfully keep him indoors again.
It made me wonder if the prodigal ever thought about running away again after he’d returned to life on the farm and celebrated his homecoming.
When Jesus told the woman, “Go and sin no more,” I wonder if it was as simple as that (John 8:11). Did her memory of extravagant grace sustain her? Was it as simple as walking away or did she have to fight for change, falter, repent, and run to Christ again and again?
Paul described exactly this struggle in Romans 7. He did what he didn’t want to do. He didn’t do what he knew he should do. This is the continual battle with our flesh.
Like the hymn writer said, we’re “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.”
Why do we wander? Why do we dash out the door at the slightest opportunity and leave the safety and provision of God’s care? Why risk treacherous territory rather than rest in His love?
After all, as soon as our cat did return home (at 4:00 a.m.) he ran in from the rain to our dry house and was greeted with a can of tuna fish. You’d think he would understand that home is a better place to be than gallivanting around the woods in the rain sans tuna.
Paul made our choice clear in this same way and that’s my verse to meditate on this week:
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
You’d think given the choice between death on the one hand and life and peace on the other, this decision would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, though, we slip into flesh-thinking so easily—-choosing to dwell on worry and anxiety, jealousy, fear, anger, bitterness, selfishness, greed, and more—everything that leads to death.
This week, let’s focus on having a Spirit-governed mind. We must choose not to let our thoughts run wild into flesh territory. We must choose if we want life and peace.
How do you take control of your thought-life?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.