Ridding ourselves of the old man
Author’s note: This post begins a series of what it looks like to “put on Christ” which will appear for a few Saturdays in a row. Weekends around the blog will deal a little more directly with theological ideas, but as always feel free to post your thoughts in the comments!
Before we can really talk intelligently about putting something new on, we must first talk about getting rid of the old. I would venture to say that many people do not think about what it actually looks like to shed parts of themselves, but I do know that my cat thinks about it a fair deal. Quite simply put, my cat is always shedding and leaving pieces of himself behind. I think most cat owners, enthusiasts or allergy sufferers know that of which I speak. Even as he sheds, my cat does not lose essential elements of his cat-ness and his entirely awesome personality.
We could learn a lot from my cat when it comes to issues of repentance.
Shedding is a seasonal process. Yes, my cat is always shedding a bit; but there are certain times of the year when I cannot pet him without having my hand completely covered in his fur. Indeed, sometimes I swear my cat is asking for my attention to help him along with the process. I mean, honestly, my cat has a fantastic process of shedding. He curls up right next to me, submits himself to loving scratches, and just takes it a bit easy while his coat does what it needs to do for healthy coat maintenance. Occasionally enough fur comes off on my hands that it distracts from being able to really receive affection, so my cat, in his infinite cat wisdom, gives himself a good shake to move the excess hair away from him. And sometimes, my hands are just so covered that I need to stop with the scratching a bit start to consolidate the hair and get it far away from both of us. In a few months, he’ll need regular brushing to make sure that we stay ahead of his hair loss so he doesn’t ingest too much while taking care of himself. But either way, we’re in this process together.
Now if only I could get to a point where I trust Jesus to help me shed off the external trappings of myself as much as my cat trusts me.