It seems as if God is in the season of using Barnabas to teach me many lessons. In one week I get two!
Last Saturday we held a Fall Festival in our small community of Daleville. I was busy all day preparing for the event therefore only gave minimal amount of attention to Barnabas. The next day I was back in my “office” (the back porch) trying to catch up on a few tasks. Barnabas kept pawing at me demanding attention. I was getting so aggravated and irritated at him. He kept on pawing and demanding attention. As I stopped what I was doing to stare at him (as if THAT would help) that inner voice seemed to say: “You’ve ignored me. It’s time to pay attention to me. You have enough time to do so many tasks but you’re not taking time to talk to me – God.” Barnabas demanded my attention and God gave me a message. I stopped and played with Barnabas and talked to God.
On another day I was playing catch with Barnabas. So often he carries around an old “coon” toy that is almost worn out. I often think it serves as his pacifier! He loves to play with it but he loves to chase after a Frisbee even more. I thought I would give him a treat to play Frisbee with him but he had his ragged coon toy in his mouth and would not let go of it. No matter what I said or did... he held on tightly to the coon.
I am sure God was using this incident to show me how my own behavior often is. God wants to give me a good gift, something I REALLY want. It could be a certain experience, a certain encounter or something else. But in order to receive the new gift I have to let go of the old one but I refuse. I cling on to what I have --- to what is “known” rather to leave it behind and venture into the new unknown. If I trusted God more, closer to the degree he desires, I would let go of my old ways (or whatever he is asking me to release) and go with him. I wanted Barnabas to trust me that I was trying to give him a better gift. I am sure that God wants me to trust him too. He has a much better life in store for me but sometimes I have to let go of the past to enjoy the new.