Chuck Terrill: Cat vs. dog 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

I returned home after a trip one Saturday night after I had been gone a few days and our Yorkies were nearly beside themselves, glad to see me.

They greeted me by leaping and cavorting at my feet. As soon as I put my luggage down, they were in my arms. I relaxed in my favorite recliner and they began to happily lick my face and hands. It was quite a homecoming!  

I like the little dogs because it is nice to come home at the end of a long day and have somebody at least act like they have missed you. In her defense, my wife did say, “Hi, honey,” and kiss me on the cheek.   

But dogs worship their master with exuberant gestures of affection. They don't hold back. They let you know that they really love you. 

Cats, however, can be a little more reserved when greeting their master. Even so, they will rub up against your leg with an arched back, communicating with a simple, happy “purr.” A cat will also jump up on your lap and allow you to stroke her fur or scratch her behind the ears. 

Like the dog, the cat will lick your hand and face as a sign of deep affection. But, whatever you get as a welcome home from a cat is going to be significantly less exuberant than what you might expect from a dog.

Which loves their master more: the dog or the cat? You really can't base your decision on their outward actions. 

Cats are cats and worship their master like a cat.    

Dogs are dogs and worship their master like a dog. 

They love and worship to the same degree, just in different ways. Right? 

The same is true in the worship of the heavenly Master. I like to be on my feet, clapping my hands, and singing along to a praise band. But, I know that there are others who prefer to be seated, singing a hymn accompanied by an organ or piano. 

Who loves their Master more? You really can't base your answer on the outward actions. We love and worship to the same degree, just in different ways. 

Many of our churches are being torn apart by “worship wars.”  Today, many worshipers insist on demanding their own way. Each of us have our own preference when it comes to worship music. 

Which kind of worship does God prefer? Traditional or contemporary? He will accept either, if it comes from the heart.  He must be broken-hearted about our discord. He would rather have no worship music than to have discord in His church. 

I am thinking about all of this because the Greek word for “worship” means “to kiss the hand,” or more accurately, “to lick the hand.” 

Dogs and Cats seem to have it figured out. They have different styles of worship, but their focus is wholly on the master.  Their approach to worship is different, but they don't worry about pleasing anyone else. They only want to please their master. They worship with the understanding that their master is their only audience. We ought to take the hint. 

I say, there is plenty of room at the Master's feet for both cats and dogs. Amen?   

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth “(John 4.24).

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.