Learning from Pepper

I acknowledge that the title of this post is a bit strange. How does one learn from pepper? More often than not, as a young child, we are taught not to sniff pepper, or it could make you sneeze. Don’t put too much pepper sauce on your food or it could become too hot to eat (I know some people that can’t get enough hot sauce.) That is, however, not the pepper I am referring to in this instance.

Instead, I speak of my little one-eyed cat, named Pepper. Since I’ve owned Pepper, he’s been a house cat that I let outside on occasion. He’s afraid of his own shadow, so I don’t have to worry too much about him running off. Most of the time, he goes out, sniffs around until a car drives down the road or the neighbors start talking, and then he darts back into the house. This morning was different; he didn’t want to come back in. I was working on assembling some shelves so I couldn’t stay outside and monitor him, so I ushered him back into the house with him hissing at me the whole way. He was very unappreciative of the guidance I was trying to give him. That’s a cat, though. They have a stigma of being very unappreciative and unsatisfied of what the have.

I made the joke that when God made the cat, he created the most unappreciative creature on the planet. As I thought about that statement, I realized that I was dead wrong. The cat is not the most unappreciative of all of God’s creation. Man is. If you want to be politically correct, I suppose that I should say that the human being is God’s most unappreciative, unthankful creation.

God has given us everything we need to survive. A breathable atmosphere. Food. Water. Nutrients and vitamins that will help our bodies grow strong and healthy. Minds to learn and talents to create. Yet in all of this, so many human beings believe that they can survive without God.

It reminds me of a joke I read several years ago:

One day, three scientists got together and decided that they no longer needed God to survive. Mankind had advanced enough and learned enough and God’s help was no longer necessary, so they asked God if we, as a people, could separate ourselves from him. God agreed that he would grant the request of the three scientists if they could pass a simple test. The scientists grew excited, knowing they held all of the knowledge the world could provide in their three brains, and quickly accepted the challenge without even hearing God out. When God finally got the chance to speak again, he asked the scientists if they wanted to know what the challenge was. Eager to prove to God that they were able and willing to accept, they boasted that they could conquer any challenge that he could think of. God smiled and said, “If you want to be truly separate from me, a people of your own, all you have to do is create a living, breathing man out of dirt. The scientists, taken aback by the challenge, gathered together for a moment to discuss the grandios task. A few minutes later, they approached God and told him that they accept his challenge. However, before God would send them off to their task, he told them one more thing, “In order to win this challenge, you must use your own dirt.”

Can man, who claims that the mysteries of the cosmos are still unfathomable, honestly live without God?

A friend of mine returned from a missionary trip to Haiti about three years ago. When he returned, he posed a question to our church: What if God made us live tomorrow with what we thanked him for today?

Saying thank you is easy. We say it numerous times every day to all sorts of people, but do we actually mean it? When we say thank you to God, do we actually mean it? Two simple words, but just like the word “love” it seems to have lost its meaning in our American society. “I love cotton candy!” Really. Do you really love cotton candy, or do you just enjoy eating it?

God has provided everything for us, so I don’t think that just saying thank you is enough. We have to show our appreciation, but how do we do that? It’s simple really? The answer can be found in scripture.

Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Love. Love is how we show appreciation, gratitude, and thanks to God. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love one another. True love. Godly love. Not lust. Our society has a tendency to misconstrue love for lust. It is unfortunate, but it is something that needs to be addressed by the Christian population.

So, how do you do that? How do you love God and love your neighbor? It’s simple; Keep His Commandments.

Amazing, don’t you think? I bet you never expected that a post about my unappreciative cat would turn into a life lesson. I didn’t either, but that is how God sometimes works in our lives.

As I end this post, I would like to ask that you keep my grandfather, Homer Mullins, in your prayers, as well as my aunt, Shirley Terry.

God Bless

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