Kevin the Neighborhood Cat
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
Read this Right Meow!
Recently the cat people in my life have discovered another cat that has been wandering in the neighborhood.
Our neighbors started commenting on the cat named Kevin. One neighbor decided to put out a water bowl and a food bowl. Soon there was a little bed on their front porch.
My daughter was jealous. She told me that she wanted Kevin to sleep on our front porch. My future daughter in law decided that they were going to see if Kevin would let them pet him. All the cat people decided that they were going to get in on the action with this neighborhood cat.
Then Kevin was seen at the house across the street from our house. They also started feeding Kevin. This only raised the stakes for the cat people in my house to win Kevin over to our house.
The day came when the Kevin was just sitting in the driveway across the street looking directly towards our house. The cat treat bag came out. With a little shake of the treat bag Kevin started walking towards our house. The cat people in my family were over the moon. Kevin was coming to our house.
Soon there was another cat bed in our garage, in addition to a water and food bowl. Soon Kevin was coming and going from our garage, to the neighbor’s garage, then to the other neighbor’s front porch. It is officially the neighborhood cat. All the neighbors joke about the neighborhood cat and give reports as to where Kevin is today. She (turns out Kevin is a girl) just wanders from place to place never staying long. In fact, the picture above is a picture of Kevin. Yes, begging for a handout.
Jesus talked about people like Kevin when He walked on this earth. Right after the story when Jesus fed 5000 men plus women and children, He went back across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. That night is when you also read the story of Jesus walking on the water.
It is the next morning, though, when you read about people who are just like Kevin the cat. The people came looking for Jesus and asked Him when He arrived (vs 25). Verses 26-27, however, is when Jesus told them what it really means to follow Him.
Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him,” (John 6:26-27).
Many of those people had seen or heard all about all sorts of miracles that Jesus had performed. They had experienced it for themselves because they ate the bread that He had provided. They were, however, following Jesus for material things. They were following him because they saw benefit for them on this earth. Jesus could keep them fed, He could heal their disease, He could defeat their enemies.
Jesus, however, was pointing out to them that they needed to see heavenly things, to seek things that are eternal.
Many times, people wander from church to church or religion to religion seeking benefits only for this life. They are like Kevin the cat. Going to church or to God to get their tummy full but not truly thinking about heavenly things.
Jesus was already warning against a consumer-driven Christian community where people are focused on the things that make life good for them in this world and not the next. Jesus was warning against a consumer mentality in Christianity where if we don’t like a certain preacher, teacher, or member we just go somewhere else. Jesus wants us to follow Him who is the Bread from heaven and focus on heavenly things and how not just on what will happen to them on this earth.
My dog found Kevin in the garage one day and she did what dogs do when coming across a strange cat. She started barking and the cat started hissing. Next thing you know there was a chase on as the dog started chasing Kevin out of the garage.
Eventually Kevin turned around stood up on her back legs and went at the dog with her claws. Then the dog retreated yelping like she was dying. It was a classic dog versus cat scene. Kevin hasn’t come back to our garage since.
John 6:66 states that at the end of Jesus talking to people about following heavenly things that “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” Sad really. Must have made Jesus really sad as well. He wanted them to be true followers of Jesus just like He wants you and I to be true followers of Jesus. More concerned about heavenly things than things on this earth that will only benefit us for a short time.