Let me start by saying that, although I love animals, I am not what you would call a cat person. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a house with cats. I have no issue with cats. I simply have no burning desire to own a cat.
In October of 2017, I was informed by my children that we needed a cat. My wife and I did not want a cat. My boys told me that they needed a cat. I said that this was false, that nobody needs a cat. Because you see, my wife and I did not want a cat. Yet, the boys persisted. They begged and pleaded for a cat, they drew pictures depicting how good life would be with a cat, they dropped hints about cat acquisition at dinner. But my wife and I did not want a cat.
Finally, we couldn’t take the endless hints and suggestions any longer. We were forced to muster our authority and put our parental foot down on this issue. That’s right, we adopted a cat. Her name is Marley.
During my devotional time each morning, Marley wants nothing more than to be in my lap. She is quite persistent. After a few weeks, it became clear that despite my lack of enthusiasm for the idea, we now had a routine. To this day, devotional time for me means lap time for her, and she gets very pushed if she doesn’t get to complete her routine.
What if we were as persistent in the pursuit of our devotional relationship with God as Marley is in the pursuit of her routine? After all, it’s easy to justify skipping our morning devotion, especially on busy days (yes, this can be a struggle for pastors too). What if our routine was so focused on being with God—a steadfast commitment to daily time with Him—that we would be unable to move on with our day until we’d been in His presence?
Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Indeed, turning our eyes toward “things above” (Col. 3:1) is the most important thing we can do each day. On days where packed schedules and busyness threaten to take over, we need our daily time with God more than ever.
I still maintain that nobody needs a cat. However, I’m thankful for what I believe to be a lesson taught by the Holy Spirit’s using our cat. Even though cats have no need for daily devotions, Marley’s persistent presence each morning is a reminder that I do. My challenge this week is to ask God to remind you (I can testify, He will!) to spend time with Him each and every day—especially when things get busy! Do it not as an afterthought, but as the first and most crucial part of your daily routine.