Chasing Shadows on the Wall

Title: Chasing Shadows on the Wall
Category: Devotion
Subject: Light; Purpose; Meaning in Life

Chasing Shadows on the Wall

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

While I was growing up I had a variety of pets. I have owned birds, fish, turtles, mice, snakes, dogs, rabbits, insects (ant farm, praying mantis, and honey bees), cattle, and cats. All of these creatures have certain personalities, some more than others, and they all need some type of assistance. A fish is not the most interesting pet, but they are pretty to look at, and as long as you feed them they are “low maintenance.” On the other extreme is a bird. They are loud, need constant attention if you are training them to talk, and are messy. The honey bee is a productive pet, but they will not hesitate to sting you when you are taking their honey. Dogs seem to have the best personality because they are always glad to see you when you come home. A dog is loyal and can be an “alarm system” when someone drops by the house.

However, my favorite pet is the cat, but I’m not sure why. Cats can act superior, indifferent, and needy within a span of a few minutes. My cats are “low maintenance” until they feel they need something. When their 25 pound bag of cat food is getting low, they will stand next to it and stare at me, then stare at the bag, then stare back at me. It is as if they are telling me, “Hey you, I’m about to run out of food, don’t forget about me! So, go to the store while it is on your mind and get another bag of food, and while you are there, get a little something for yourself!” Several times I have been having a private conversation with my wife and my cats will come into the room and sit down. They act like they are not interested in what we are discussing, but I believe they are just plain nosy and are listening to see if we are talking about them!

Most of my cats go about their own business and when you pass them in the house they will usually give you a nod as they swagger past. I do have one cat that loves me, and he will come and sit in my lap. Of course I scratch him, comb him and tell how good he looks. He is very friendly, rarely moody, and he is one of the biggest, most muscular cats I have ever seen. I have recently noticed something about his personality that really bothered me. On different occasions while he is sitting on my lap and looking at me, he will tense up and his eyes will get narrow, like a gunfighter in a Clint Eastwood movie, and his ears will lie back as though he has heard some bad news. I think he is about to slap me for something that I did to him when he was a kitten. I quickly begin to tell him he is a good “kitty” and he would never do anything to hurt the one he loves. When I mentioned his actions to my wife and she told me that Jedi (the cat) was not looking at me, but the shadows on the wall! I always thought that a shadow could not hurt you, but my cat has about convinced me otherwise. In my cat’s overzealous attempt to “capture” a shadow, he is going to claw me on both sides of my face and make me look like chopped steak!

Take a few moments and consider the “Shadow.” In order to see a shadow you need to be close to light and the object that is projecting the shadow. Let me ask you something, what are you close to today? What is making shadows in your life? Are the things in your life honoring or dishonoring to God? Psalms 17:8 says, “Protect me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” It is a great desire to be able to be so close to God as to see His shadow in your everyday life. The Lord’s shadow is always worth chasing. Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!