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Two nights ago, right before I prepared to go to bed, I let my cat outside.  I opened the door to the garage and walked out, coaxing my cat with food to follow me.

It was dark under the cloudy sky, and the cool night air was sneaking under the garage door that I had propped open about six inches with a couple of bricks.  Suddenly, my cat
immediately went on the prowl, stalking very slowly toward the door, peering under into the blackness outside.  Soon it began to hiss and, as I was standing there watching all this, I thought to myself there must be another cat outside.  Not liking other animals stealing my cat's food, I grabbed a golf club and headed toward the garage door.  I opened it up and saw a great big raccoon just sitting there.

Raccoons are unlike any other animal on the planet.  They are nasty little critters that aren't afraid of anything.  They aren't even afraid of cars.  I know this because I see them on the side of the road all the time.  Upon seeing this large, masked creature, I lifted my club to swing as hard as I could at it.  When I did, I stepped onto the blacktop of the driveway at the same time, which, unbeknownst to me, was wet from the day's rain.   As I swung and stepped toward the motionless coon at the same time, my feet literally slipped right out from underneath me, causing me to crash to the blacktop with great force.

My knees were bruised, my elbow had sustained heavy impact, and one of my knuckles was cut up.  To make matters worse, in my fall I accidentally hit my own cat in the paw with the golf club.  As I steadied myself to stand up, here is what a passerby might have seen: a wobbly, limping six foot three inch tall man holding a golf club, struggling to stand up straight; a small, orange cat limping on one foot, meowing rather loudly; and a coon walking slowly away toward a tree without a care in the world.

How embarrassing.  I never was able to hit that coon, and I doubt my clumsy effort did much to scare it away for good.  I finally was able to coax my cat from behind the bushes in my front yard, promising it I didn't hit it on purpose.  Remarkably, my cat still does trust me, and even began purring again after I held it for a couple minutes.

How foolish we can be as humans sometimes.  We get our feelings hurt; our pride might get a little damaged, but we have no reason to hold a grudge toward God.  In my own life, moving to Tennessee was never part of my master plan.  Tennessee held as much potential for me as dry land does for a goldfish.  Yet God brought me here, and I can either choose to accept that willingly or fight it with a chip on my shoulder.  How long will it take for me to totally surrender to Him and allow myself to melt under His grace and be content enough to "purr" in His arms just as my cat did in mine?

God wants what is best for us.  Even if it does not fit our plans, He is always doing what is best for us.  Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

How long will you fight His perfect grace?

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us" (Anne Lamott).