My Heart's Home

November 10, 2010

New Guinea

Filed under: Contentment,Prayer — My Heart's Home @ 12:33 am

It is time to get my kindergartener a pet. I search my local animal shelter, online, for a furry friend to adopt. Since my son’s classroom displays guinea pigs–which he feeds before, during and after school–I want to buy him one. A 10-month-old, black and white guinea named Lady Oreo catches my eye. She is the only cavy advertised among a flurry of fluffy felines and canines, so I figure it’s fate her four legs join our six-legged family. Being Abyssinian, curses her with many cowlicks causing bad hair days every day, which endears her all the more to me.

Mind you, I know nothing about these peculiar pets, so I search the Information Highway:

  • Guinea pigs often ‘popcorn’–twitch or jerk suddenly when happy or excited. (Googled that query in a panic after I thought she was having a seizure!)
  • Their claws need clipping, but I must be careful not to cut to the quick. (That common phrase now makes sense etymologically.)
  • They are skittish little creatures.

Skittish is an understatement. A simple sneeze sends her hotfooting into her igloo faster than a centipede running a marathon. Whenever I try to grab her from her cage’s confines for extra-curricular activity, she frantically darts here, there and anywhere away from my grasp.

But once in my lap she purrs like she hasn’t a care in the world as I stroke her rosette-curled coat.

Contentment.

The next day the pattern repeats:

I reach, she darts.

She darts, I reach.

I win.

This occurs week after week. “When is she going to trust me?” I lament. After all, I am no threat. I offer her two solid meals a day of vitamin-filled veggies, an all-you-can-eat buffet of hay and keep her bottle brim-filled with fresh H2o. I set the thermostat’s temperature neither too hot nor too cold. I give her undivided attention and let her frolic, prance and play on our carpet. I even buy her a cage mate to ward off loneliness, after discovering cavies are social critters.

I spoil her with Yogies!—peach-colored, cheese-flavored, itsy-bitsy treats she devours twice a day.

(Any human would envy such pampering!)

Yet she runs like the dickens every time my hand draws near. The youngest swiftly follows.

But be-still-my-heart when one rests in my lap and lets me pet her.

We both purr.

Observing my new guineas’ behavior mirrors my relationship with God. Sometimes my busyness and frantic pace keep me hotfooting here, there and anywhere except where I should be: in my Father’s lap, resting. I often flinch, flight and flee when His pruning shears snip at my selfish, spoiled, sinful heart. Instead of trusting He’s enough, I worry, fret and complain, wallowing in my poopy mess until the stench overwhelms me and I beg for His grace, peace and mercy to deliver me.

He blesses me so much, yet I take so much for granted. I have oodles to be grateful for: a roof overhead; a stocked fridge; a full stomach; a warm bed, a clothed back; a soft couch; a healthy heart; running water; dependable cars; a green lawn; a steady income; a church community.

Friends who are generous, gracious and good to me.

A husband who is faithful, forgiving and my best friend.

A neighbor who brings me newspapers, peaches and presents.

Yet one trip to the mall, a visit to Hearst Castle, an episode of Oprah’s Favorite Things annual giveaway show and my heart plummets to Discontentville, the land of the wants vs. needs, the haves vs. have-nots, the gimme mores vs. the could care lesses. Where every corner store has a Bigger, Better, Best window display yanking at my purse strings. A town where money talks, grows on trees and foots the bill. Where The Jones’ grass is always greener as my eyes grow green with envy.

Oh, what a pathetic little creature I become.

While somewhere in the world:

…a little boy my son’s age wonders when, or if, he will eat again.

…a little girl sleeps on a stained, flea-infested single mattress she shares with two siblings.

..a helpless wife watches her husband exhale one last time as cancer’s claws clutch another victim.

Oh, Lord, help me curl in contentment’s lap and be thankful, always, for the little–and big things–I take for granted each day.

♥ What 10 things are you grateful for right now? ♥

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Phil. 4:11-12

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