What A Cat Taught Me About Contentment

Brian Jakowski
5 min readFeb 20, 2023

Cats, you either love them or you don’t. I’ve always been a don’t, so, when Shiloh, a Tabby-Siamese mix entered our lives, he surprisingly wasn’t what I expected. At times, he’s almost human in his actions. When he wants attention he’s cuddly, but when he doesn’t, there’s no getting close to him.

While Lancer and Lola, our dogs, stay outside as watchdogs (relax, no snow we live in Amazonas Brazil) and sleep in their brick dog house, or on the covered porch, Shiloh only sleeps on soft, cushy furniture or if the bedroom door is left open, on my wife’s pillow. Did mention, she’s allergic to cats?

He’s everywhere, you don’t dare sit without first checking for the cat. If he’s in that seat, there’s no way he’s moving voluntarily. The cat’s got it made, and that’s where I noticed another quality he shares with humans, he’s never satisfied.

Why Having It All May Not Be Enough

Shiloh lacks nothing. He always has food, water, soft beds, a big house, and a bigger yard to hunt lizards in. But he still tries to sneak out to the street where he’ll have to dodge cars, motorcycles, stray dogs, and feral cats.

Other times, he’s on the neighbor’s wall preparing to jump down and check out their yard. Thing is, that neighbor has already warned us her dogs kill anything they catch in her yard. He’s had a few close calls, but he is still not satisfied.

Like Shiloh, Christians let their eyes wander to the wrong things and lose their focus on Jesus. At these times, Satan begins whispering, “Jesus is holding out on you and robbing your fun”.

In Eden, Adam and Eve’s every need was met, they even communed with God the father in the garden. They never knew hunger, thirst, or any reason to feel threatened, until they took their eyes off God.

It was a simple argument, “You will not die… your eyes will be opened…. and you will become like God.” Gen. 3:4–5

Satan took their focus off of everything they did have, including how they fellow-shipped with God and put it on the only thing they couldn’t have, a simple piece of fruit. With her eyes on the fruit instead of God,

… Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. Gen. 3:6

The reason we want more is that our eyes are off of Jesus allowing us to forget all we already have in our lives because of our walk with Jesus.

Fixing Your Eyes On Jesus Is The Key To Contentment

Wherever we go some device is bombarding us with media designed to grab our attention and convince us why we need whatever they’re selling.

This is why establishing a devotional time to connect with God/Jesus is critical. Jesus went off on his own regularly to connect with the Father and recharge spiritually. Who are we to do anything less?

In Colossians 3:1–4 the apostle Paul lays out a map of why and how we should keep our fixed on Jesus,

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

We have been raised with Christ, so we have died to the power of sin and the flesh, and become the righteousness of God in Jesus.

Our lives are hidden in Christ, who sits at the right hand of the father. As a result, we have the Holy Spirit’s strength and guidance to help us keep our minds and eyes on Jesus.

Practicing The Presence Of God Is The Key To Contentment

Praying remains one of the best ways to connect with God.

We don’t always have to be on our knees in a prayer closet for hours to stay focused on God. Jesus often prayed privately for hours, but his public prayers were short. The point is to be talking with God whenever possible.

Brother Lawrence , a sixteenth-century monk, is remembered for practicing the presence of God during his daily activities. Whether he was washing dishes or loading barrels on a ship, he conversed with God.

You can do this in short prayers, you or your loved ones home safely every day.

Asking God how to approach a situation is a good practice. When King David asked if should go into battle or pursue an enemy before acting, he was given victory.

But when he took a count of Israel’s army despite God’s word not to as his generals counseled the same, a plague fell on Israel. And let’s not forget Bathsheba.

His Word Is Still The Best Way

Searching God’s word is still and always will be the best way to stay connected with Jesus. Hebrews 4:12 tells us,

The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow …

In 2 Timothy 3:16–17, Paul writes,

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Scripture is filled with references to keeping our eyes raised to heaven or fixed on Jesus. Use your devotion time to find them, meditate on these verses and commit them to memory.

Even if Shiloh the cat likes to sit on the wall to look at what he does not have, as soon as his eyes catch sight of my daughter, his focus returns to what he does have, and in a snap, he’s and down away from the danger.

Likewise, when you make dwelling in God’s presence your daily practice, you’ll have discovered true contentment in Christ. All the things clamoring for your attention will fade away, while Jesus remains an eternal light unto your path.

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Brian Jakowski

I’m a missionary, pastor & Freelance Writer based in Maues Am, Brazil. We teach ESL work with local tribes and I write on all things regarding faith & Family.