Thursday, August 7, 2008

When We Shy Away

Katy has routinely greeted me for a couple of years now by doing the cat stretch and flopping on her back to have belly rubbed as soon as I come in the door. Occasionally, it is just a scratch of the ears and a few meows to let me know that it really is dinner time and I do not need to set anything down before feeding her. Most of the time, it is the belly rub.

Last night she surprised me by simply going to her bowl. I filled both bowls but she watched me warily and backed up when I tried to pet her. She actually walked away from the food until I walked away. She was fine the rest of the night -- purring on my lap and snuggling under the blankets. But I was initially alarmed.

But I didn't press the issue. I figured she would simply retreat under the dresser if I did.

I have no way of knowing was was going on in her mind. Did she have an ear ache? Did she just feel out of sorts? Was she simply tired and hungry?

It made me think about the times I shy away from people. I did that last week with someone I know well. I was suppose to see her on Tuesday, but I called and canceled on Monday. I never cancel. I deeply look forward to my time with Julie. But I felt an anxiety about it and backed away quickly. Yes, it was confusing to her.

From what I can gather, Julie was good about not taking it personally. Confusing, yes. But not personally.

I, however, tend to take all things personally -- no matter how hard I try to remind myself not to. And even the cat backing up seemed personal. While relatively mild, it stung. And I may have been overly solicitous in the treats later.

Today, I've thought about all the times I've backed up from God. Yes, He is all knowing. He knows the deep secrets and reasons in my heart. But, I still imagine it grieves Him when He reaches out to touch us and we pull away or back up. I've backed up in numerous ways: failing to have a quiet time, failing to heed a word or directive, making other things more important, and even for awhile dropping out of going to church.

Katy backing up, shying away, is infinitesimal in comparison. Really, there is no comparison. But it did get me thinking about how tender God's heart is to me and how much He longs to be in continual relationship.



ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I can relate to this. All to often the noise and clutter in my life keeps me from my God. And before I know it, I feel exactly like you said, "Backing away from God". It takes discipline each day to make sure He is our priority. I'm sure we all make His heart feel exactly like you described! What a great reminder!

cautious1 said...

Great analogy. I totally get where you're coming from about retreating to a place that is away from people. It is something that unfortunately comes very easily to me. Soemtimes I have to force myself to get out of my house and to venture into the "real" world. I think much of my hermit-like behavior stems from the fact that I get discouraged and disappointed at the things of this world. By sequestering myself in my house or at Barnes & Noble (I used to work there myself and absolutely loved working there), I feel as if I am immune to the things that go on in our daily lives that we have no control over.
I hope you re-scheduled with your friend that you canceled out on...:)

Joyful said...

I tend to take things personally too and have to surrender my natural reaction often and ask God to help me put things in perspective. Sometimes I can be overly sensitive.

Staying close to Him,

Lelia Chealey said...

You have given us a great visual Amy of backing away from God. I used to do that too-back away from people especially if they were strong believers.
Am praying for you sweet friend.