I read Save the Cowboy's blog post about the difference between being “religious” and being “Christ-like”, and I don’t know about everyone else…but it got me to thinkin’. It sure is easy to jump up and attack someone who presents the Gospel different than what is considered the norm. For a few days I just tried to wrap my head around all of the drama surrounding it. Hard to believe people can take and read into a picture exactly what they want to attack. I thought about this clear into Thursday.
Thursday I dropped off a friend at a men’s retreat and during the time before I left we were talking, sharing stories…just shooting the breeze. He is pretty funny and some of the stories will most likely show up here, maybe with a little artistic license.
This is the almost true story of the funem masculini cati. When I get through with the story, you can count yourself as educated in the Latin language…just a little.
Billy was only five or six at the time and he was given a little rope, maybe a quarter inch in diameter. He worked really hard at his skills and was a pretty fair hand with that little rope. He could rope fence posts, a nail sticking out of the wall and dogs. He was a regular Will James, pitching his rope onto everything and anything.
His Dad worked at a dairy and Billy went with him a lot. One day he was sitting there practicing with his little rope and the barn tom cat was just sitting there…licking himself. Billy thought, “I wonder if I can rope that cat?” Up to this point he had never had the opportunity to try it. He had always wanted to, but providence had never smiled on him. Well it seems that the stars and moon has aligned, because this cat was within roping range!
Well, quick as a whistle his rope shot out and settled rather neatly around ol’ Tom’s neck. Billy thought, “Will you look at that, I roped him.” Of course when you rope a critter, the first thing a good hand will do is jerk the slack out of that rope. When the rope tightened around the cat’s neck, Billy said the cat jumped straight up in the air, at least 12 or 15 feet. And as any good hand would do, Billy pulled him back down. As soon as the cat hit the ground, it jumped in the air again, almost to the same height. This little act went on for four or five times. The cat would jump up and pull away, and Billy would pull him back down to earth. You would have thought that this part of the story was the part where things were western. You would be wrong.
On about the fifth time ol’ Tom was jerked back to the ground, I guess he had enough. On that fateful fifth time, he ran up the rope like a mad bull. He latched onto Billy’s leg with all four claws and all 2,993 teeth. Billy heard some awful screeching and squalling (I would suspect some of it was his own) and he went to flailing with the tail of his little rope on that demon that was not attached to his leg. He whupped and wailed but could not remove not one claw or tooth from his leg.
His Dad finally came up to help, but the cat was so incensed that he could not be removed with normal measures. Billy’s dad finally took a scoop shovel and pried ol’ Tom from Billy’s leg. Of course part of the problem was now the rope had to be removed from the cat. But Mr. Tom was still reverted back to his prehistoric form as a saber tooth tiger. Billy’s dad finally put the cat on the ground under the shovel and stood on it to get the rope off. Mr. Tom was not a happy camper, to say the least. They removed the rope and Tom shot away from them like he was fired out of a gun. The cat didn’t show back up for about a week.
Billy did not learn his lesson on roping cats and there is another story that I will save for later. BUT I believe this is more than just a funny story. I think there is a point to be made here.
Sometimes when people are convicted of their sins by Christ, they come back up the rope and attack the ones that are sharing the Gospel. We are a little like that cat, Christ convicts us and when we feel a little pressure…we jump in the air, squall and carry on. Doing our best to try and get away. When that doesn’t work, we go on the offensive and start pointing out all of the things that are wrong with the people trying to help. Heck, sometimes I’m like that cat, even now. Christ will grab ahold of me for some reason, and I commence to fighting against him. All I have to is submit to the pull, why’s that so hard?
It’s because I don’t like to be wrong, nor does anybody really. Being right means we are in control, masters of our universe. Being wrong means we have to admit that we have no control, that God was/is right and we are like Sargent Schultz…we know nnnoothinggg!
The thing to remember is that when that Pharisee…er…I mean…cat comes running back up that rope…they are under conviction. They’re kicking and fighting with Christ…pray for them where they’re at, love on ‘em…but continue to point out the truth.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “you shall not commint adultery”, “you shall not murder”, “you shall not steal”, “you shall not cover”, and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “love you neigjhor as yourself”
Stay faithful, my friends.
PS. Almost forgot about the title. Loosely translated into: To rope the male cat. How’s that for and educational story!