If I did not know Mr. Whiskers' humble origin, I might suspect he descended from some royal line whose members had walked on nothing less than a soft carpet of green. He is keen to complete his tour of inspection around the brown barn each day...after I've cleared the snow from the path all the way from the back door to the compost bin behind the barn. When he still hesitates to set out, all I can do is encourage him to get going. Once he ventures forth he's engrossed in the adventure.
I am looking forward to connecting with Isaiah (which could happen before too long in view of world events). Not our Isaiah in Sunday School, who, along with his brothers, could be destined to do great things for God, but the Isaiah who wrote, "What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it?" (Isaiah 5:4 NIV) Comparing His people to this vineyard, God says He cleared the stones, dug the ground, planted the best vines, built a watchtower, cut out a winepress... He has done all He can do for His people to produce the best results.
For each of our lives there is an amazing plan. God prepares the way doing exactly what each of us needs to move forward and accomplish it. He sends ones like Barnabas along to encourage us. Our families, pastors, friends lend their support, with an extra nudge at times from folks like the dear couple in British Columbia who contacted an editor on my behalf.
I have never put a toe to Mr. Whiskers' backside to get him moving, but that's about what this reluctant individual has needed more than once. The words on a sign I passed yesterday confirmed what has been happening in my heart recently, "Sometimes the best helping hand is a good firm push."