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Monday, June 23, 2014

Grab the Cat's Tail


I had tried to resist imposing pictures and stories of my grandkids on people.  I understand that no one cares about my grandkid in the same way as I and the other grandparents do.  I have looked at countless pictures of others’ grandchildren and sat passively as they showed me pictures and all I could do was feign some interest and say something like, “That’s nice!”
           
These days of cell phones and instant pictures only make the assault worse.  Instead of the hesitation we used to feel when we took pictures, had to develop and pay for them, the cell phone makes multiple, instant pictures seem totally free.  Grandparents figure if one picture of the cute little bugger is good, ten pictures should be absolutely astonishing!
           
It was easy to feel smugly superior to all grandparents---that is, before I had any grandkids.  I was appalled at how insensitively folks would whip out a whole album of kids’ pictures and ask me to linger over each one!  “Oh, another nice shot of her two-month old birthday party,” I would croon.  “How nice!”  “She has hardly changed since her one and a half month birthday party!”
           
But it all changed---yes, a cosmic shift---when my first grandkid was born.  Of course, I did not change, but there was a cosmic shift apparent to me.  Of course, everyone I knew---even the most casual acquaintance---would definitely be interested in my grandkid.  Confidently, I knew they were dying to see a couple pictures.  I could be coy and wait to show the picture until they asked---which I knew they would.  If someone were just a little tardy in asking, I assumed they intended to ask, so I would shorten the waiting gap.  I could whip out my cell phone and show them the cutest little bugger of all time!  Everyone was absolutely fascinated and, I was sure that they secretly wanted more pictures.  But I spared them!
           
So I hesitate to talk about a recent picture of my grandkid, but ok, I will describe it.  The kid is sitting in the middle of the bed right behind her two cats---cats black as coal.  And the little one has the tail of one cat in firm grasp.  And she is looking at the camera with the biggest and most pleased smile possible.  Expression virtually is yelling, “I’ve got him!”  “I’ve grabbed the cat’s tail and he’s mine!”
           
So what’s this got to do with spirituality and how is it at all inspirational?  Basically, it has everything to do with spirituality or nothing at all.  Essentially, it inspires or it is utterly useless.  Of course, it is my grandkid and I think it has a spiritual message and I am inspired.  Let me explain.
           
For me the picture is an analogy.  The kid’s got the cat’s tail.  Let me suggest spirituality is like the cat’s tail.  Analogously, the cat represents God.  Like God, the cat is devoted to the kid.  The cat absolutely loves the little bugger and would do nothing but love and care for her.  That is how I picture God.
           
Of course, God is not some coal-black feline who sleeps on your bed, but analogously I think God is around like that cat.  Certainly the analogy breaks down when we all know God is not visibly present all the time like the cat.  But I would like to think God’s presence is a bit like that cat’s tail.  We can’t see God, like we can see the cat, but God’s “tail” is present and available.  Just like the tail is not the whole cat, so God’s “tail” is not the totality of who God is.  But the tail is hooked on to the whole cat and the entirety of God.
           
All you have to do is grab the cat’s tail!  Grab the cat’s tail and you’ve got hold of all that God can be.  Grab the cat’s tail and get Divine love and holy compassion.  Grab the cat’s tail and you will have a friend for life.  You will have warmth and friendship and everything that makes you special.  Just picture that!
           
What I picture for you and me, if we grab the cat’s tail, is exactly the expression splashed on my grandkid’s face.  It was utter delight.  It was exhilaration.  The picture conveyed pure joy and deep satisfaction that said, “I’ve got it!  I’ve got it all!”
           
That’s precisely what I think spirituality offers to anyone willing to believe God’s “tail” is available in this world.  All we have to do is reach out and grab the cat’s tail.  You, too, can have it all.  You too will find the deepest satisfaction and the purest joy!
           
Just picture that! 

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