Sunday Devotional

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I have a full time job, which means for a large part of the day Max is alone. . .with the cat. While not ideal, the situation worked for a while, but gradually I started coming to home to more and more messes—a trash can turned over, things scattered around the floor, not to mention the little gifts Max sometimes left behind. You know what I mean. All of that was inconvenient, but it wasn’t a major problem until I found him tangled up with an appliance. Yep. Somehow, he’d managed to worm his way into the storage closet, tip the vacuum over, and entangle himself in the power cord. I shudder to think how long he was in there. I’m assuming it was a confrontation with the kitty that led to his predicament. Either way, I knew I had to do something.

So, it was off to Wal-Mart to buy baby gates.

Knowing what an athlete Max is, I thought it wise to buy gates too tall for him to jump over. He was curious at first, sniffing the new contraptions with interest. But then he discovered what they were for. The first time I left for work with the gates up and Max secured behind them, confined to the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom, he pouted, and whined, and cried, sadly watching me leave from the window next to the door.

I ran home at lunch to check on him. While he still wasn’t happy, he wasn’t tangled up in a cord, either. I turned the radio, having heard that any noise in the house helps keep a pet from feeling lonely. It took nearly a month, but Max has accepted that there are days he’ll be confined by the gates, and he no longer whines when I leave, content to play with the crate full of toys I’ve bought him, and listen to Bob Barker announcing the winner on the Big Wheel.

Which got me thinking.

Boundaries are a good thing. They keep us from harm. They limit the trouble we get into. So why do we buck against the boundaries God has set for us, knowing that He placed them with our best interests at heart? If we’re certain that our God loves us, shouldn’t we be glad that He cares enough to see to our welfare?

I know I am. And I think Max is, too.

Exodus 20:1-20 (New International Version)

The Ten Commandments

1 And God spoke all these words:

2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 "You shall have no other gods before [a] me.

4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

13 "You shall not murder.

14 "You shall not commit adultery.

15 "You shall not steal.

16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die."

20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."

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