This is the second in a series of 6 posts about life through the eyes of a wiener-dog owner.
The moral of this story is: dogs understand worship, cats don’t. The word used for worship throughout most of the New Testament is the Greek word proskuneo. It carries the meaning to bow or prostrate oneself. However, it has another definition: to kiss the hand in the way a dog licks the hand of the master. For nearly all of my life I have lived in homes with cats (my mom had serious cat issues), while I have owned dogs for a good bit of my life, as well. This might not give me any title or initials after my name, but it does give me quite a history of observation of both species. When I enter my house, my dachshund, Boomer meets me at the door 100 times out of 100. When I leave the house, he stands at the door gazing sadly at me with puppy dog eyes (what other kind would you expect?). In reality, it doesn’t matter if I have been gone 10 minutes or two weeks, he is equally glad to see me.
On the other hand, one of my cats meets me at the door 7 times out of 100, and all 7 times it is a safe bet that either the food or water dish is empty. While I am in the house, I have constant attention and devotion from Boomer, the cats…not so much. I am slightly less interesting to them than a nap on a sunny spot, a string to chase, or a hair ball to upchuck… UNLESS THE FOOD DISH IS EMPTY! When I walk over to my dog, he gives me a perfect picture of proskuneo every time: he will hunker down, tail wagging vigorously, and lick my hand.
Now before we judge the cats too harshly, let’s look at ourselves for a sec. Aren’t our prayer and worship lives a bit like them sometimes? I’m pretty independent, charting my own course, everything under control – don’t give God all that much attention UNTIL THE FOOD DISH IS EMPTY!!! It is then that I pray, then that I tell God how great He is, then that I hunker down and kiss His hand.
Look at a couple of the great worshipers in the Bible. Moses spent 40 consecutive days in God’s presence at one point. At other times, he was so transformed by time in God’s presence that his face glowed. In fact, at one point, God even tells Moses to leave him alone: “leave me alone so my anger can blaze against the Israelites” How about David? He said, “zeal for Your house has consumed me” He’s the guy who set up an open tabernacle with no veil and ordered 24/7 worship for over 30 years. He wrote Psalm 23 which ends with the statement: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” No wonder God said about Moses “with others I speak in dreams and visions, but with Moses face to face,” and called David a man after God’s own heart. These were the two guys in the Old Testament that carried the three-fold anointing that Jesus later carried of priest, prophet, and king. So next time you begin to worship the Lord, picture Boomer, hunkered down, with his tail wagging all the way up to his neck.