I came home from a storytelling workshop last night not knowing that a play with an important point for God’s people would be enacted right in front of me. The actors in this great play – my cat – Lucy, my dog – Nigel, my wife wife – Kathy, and me!
I had just settled onto the couch by Kathy, expecting a peaceful ending to what had been a pleasant evening. I shared about the workshop and we talked about our day, but the cries, the yelling, of our cat Lucy at the window would not stop.
“Kathy, did you feed Lucy tonight?”
“Yes I fed her. I don’t know what her problem is.”
On and on it went. Finally, our ever vigilant Nigel asked to go outside to investigate and in a few minutes we heard him growling and yelling in the same area. Kathy thought he might be yelling at a possum and ran out to protect him only to discover he was standing at Lucy’s food dish and yelling at the cat who had been yelling at me!
“Nigel, stop that. That’s your sister Lucy. That’s her food.”
She picked him up and brought him in scolding him for his selfishness. But the yelling in my house didn’t stop. Lucy was soon at the window again, yelling. Nigel went to the window and yelled back and this time I decided to investigate.
I looked at Lucy’s dish. Something was wrong. The food pellets were too big. Then I yelled, with laughter. “Kathy, you gave Lucy the wrong food! You gave her Nigel’s food!”
Lucy had been yelling at me because she wanted her food. Nigel had been yelling at Lucy because she had his food. Kathy had been yelling at Nigel for yelling at Lucy but he was protecting his own. And then we yelled with delight and fun at what we had just lived, all because of the wrong food.
The wrong food – it produces yelling – and a lot of other unhealthy practices and consequences in our lives and in our churches. God told Jeremiah, “The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has my word speak my word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain, says the Lord.”
Indeed, what does straw have in common with grain? Man’s words and dreams are straw. God’s word and his vision for the world is wholesome grain. What are we putting in our spiritual food dishes? What are we pastors giving our flocks? What are we consuming each day – straw or grain? Are we eating the wrong food, or the true food that God provides?
Word of God, Speak!