A couple of months ago, we installed a cat door. Our cats are all indoor/outdoor cats. And, in all honesty, I was tired of letting them in and out. They would fuss to be let out, but then would take their precious time going when the door was opened for them. Same with coming back in. We had been concerned about the cats letting mosquitoes in through the cat door, but they let in a whole lot more with their nonchalant attitude about coming and going through the “people” door. So, in went the cat door.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the cats didn’t really like the new door at first. They still would sit at one of the other doors and ask to be let out. We’d let them out, but if they wanted to come back in (and therefore get to their food!), they had to come in through the cat door.
Two of the cats got used to it very quickly. They still occasionally ask to be let out, but for the most part they come and go without a single problem. They have seemed to enjoy the freedom to come and go as they please without having to wait for us.
But then there was Jack. Jack determined from day one that he did not like the cat door. His distaste for the cat door was so great that he almost immediately began to devise ways to avoid using it. We would let him out, but he would not come back in on his own. Realizing that we were not going to let him in, he would plant himself right in front of the screen door so that when we opened the door, he could dart back inside before we could block him.
The poor old cat had full freedom to come and go as he pleased, but the full level of freedom required that he deal with a small level of discomfort. He had to push his way through a rubber flap and let himself in. He just didn’t want to do it. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t get to his food whenever he wanted to. It wasn’t worth going through the cat door. It didn’t matter that he could quickly and easily go outside on a whim rather than having to wait for one of us to notice him waiting patiently by the door. He’d rather wait. Limitations and hindrances to his freedom were preferable to any freedom that required going through the horrid cat door.
God grants us perfect freedom as well. But, we have to be willing to walk through a certain Door. As long as we refuse to go through that Door, we will be limited and hindered. But, our limitations and hindrances are infinitely more serious than Jack’s. Eventually, someone in the house would take pity on Jack and let him in or out. But, there is no pity that can let us into our perfect freedom. Only the one Door, the Lord Jesus Christ, opens to allow us into an eternity of perfect freedom.
Like the cat door, though, the way of Christ is not the easiest way. It doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes it makes us feel claustrophobic and squeezed in. Sometimes we’re just tired and would rather find any other way to cross over into that perfect freedom. We fight. We fuss. We try and try to find other ways. Other avenues. Easier routes. But, ultimately Jesus Christ is the only way. There is no other door. There is no other way.
Eventually, Jack gave in and began using the cat door. He still pops it with his paw three or four times before he sticks his head through. He still doesn’t like it. And, when he’s not in any big hurry, he still sits patiently at the door waiting to be allowed in or out. But, he has learned. And he has found his freedom.
What about you? Have you found your perfect freedom by walking through the only Door that leads to it? If not, stop fighting! Much more than simply having the freedom to come and go as you please, the Door awaiting you allows you to enter eternity with God. There is not a more perfect freedom. There is no greater fulfillment. Go through the door!