One of my favorite comic strips is Mutts by Patrick McDonnell. The main characters are a dog named Earl and a cat named Mooch. The strip displays the love between pets and their caretakers, and portrays Earl and Mooch as would-be animal super-heroes trying to make life better for their fellow earthlings. My all-time favorite episode is one in which Mooch finds Earl in bed one morning with the covers over his head. Mooch tries several approaches to get Earl to join him for a day of adventure, but Earl is having no part of it. Exasperated, Mooch finally says, “Who is going to save the world today?” Thus follows a blank cartoon square with no dialog, in which the reader can almost see Earl’s little brain spinning in thought. In the last square, Earl then rises from his bed with the covers still completely engulfing his head and body and starts out the door, saying to Mooch, “Okay, let’s go.”
We are so like Earl! We grow complacent or bored or tired or afraid of doing the Lord’s work sometimes, and we just want everyone (including God) to leave us alone! We’ve done the bake sales, food shelf drives, vacation Bible school, served on church council and attended the pastor’s special Bible studies. We’ve even ventured out of our comfort zones and done our best to help some wayward soul who crossed our path. Wash, rinse, repeat. We want a little time off from all of this! We’re not even sure we’re doing it right, and sometimes we can’t hear God’s instructions very clearly anyway.
So we find ourselves in one of those “blank cartoon squares” of our lives. Thinking it over. Vacillating between wanting to do our part for the Lord and being human enough to think we’ve done enough already. Sending sideways prayers up to God, because we’re afraid if we meet Him head on, He’ll want us to do even more! But He is there in our hour of indecision. He is the blanket over our heads. Courage is fear that has said its prayers. Step out of that “blank” place in your life and move forward! God will lead you there!
Great God, You know our fears and foibles. Meet us and guide us in the next square. Amen