Thinking Outside the Cat Box
By Rhonda Rhea –
Have I ever told you about our morbidly obese cat? Whatever it is inside a cat brain that tells the cat belly it’s full, is completely missing from Sammy’s anatomy. So he eats and eats until he barfs. Then he moos for more. And I do mean moos. Sammy got so fat that we never felt altogether comfortable letting him lean on a load-bearing wall. Fat. Cat.Several months ago, we decided it was time to help Sammy get on a better health track. We ignored the moos more often (difficult though it was—because I mean to tell you, the animal can bellow). We left behind the old feeding system of mooing for meals. No more wail for it, then wolf it down. The wail-and-wolf has given way to a regular feeding schedule. I heard one of the kids telling him, “Just because you can sound like a cow doesn’t mean you should end up looking like one.” You wouldn’t believe how much weight he’s dropped the last few months. He’s a new cat. Definitely a healthier one.
I’m sad to say, though, that he looks pretty strange. He’s a long-haired cat with all this extra skin that used to be filled with fat. It all sort of sways back and forth when he walks. I can’t deny it, it’s really gross. When he sits, he sort of pools around himself.
The other day we had a little square box sitting in the laundry room, and you know how cats are. He just had to get in it. Well, he sort of poured himself in it. And suddenly, Sammy was square. Square! It was freaky. He morphed into the shape of the box. I know I’m not exactly one to talk. I’ve taken a bad morph turn myself here and there. But Sammy. Is. A shape-shifter. Sort of gelatinous, really. Using “cat” and “box” together in a sentence doesn’t exactly conjure up warm and fuzzy thoughts anyway, but this was one weird cat box morph.
If we’re talking spiritual morphs, though, I do hope to transform in better directions. Romans 12:2? It’s so for me. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
How do we transform into the right shape and pattern? The verse right before tells us to “make a decisive dedication of your bodies, presenting all your members and faculties, as a living sacrifice, holy, devoted, consecrated and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable, rational, intelligent service and spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1, AMP). We transform as we give it all. Every body part (swaying or otherwise), every brain cell, every action, every thought.
As we make that “decisive dedication” Romans 12:1 calls us to, our minds slip into renewal mode and our thinking—our lives—can truly be transformed. Want to become the person you were designed to be? Make the decision to give it all and to let Christ renew your mind through his indwelling presence and through the truth of his word.
The renewed life is not the norm. It’s definitely living outside the box. A whole new morph.
I guess sometimes it’s really okay to pattern your life after a gelatinous cat.
Rhonda Rhea is a radio personality, conference speaker, humor columnist and author of seven books, including High Heels in High Places and her newest book, Whatsoever Things Are Lovely: Must-Have Accessories for God’s Perfect Peace. You can find out more at www.RhondaRhea.org.