“Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?”
“I’ve been to London to see the Queen.”
“Pussy cat, pussy cat, what saw you there?”
“I saw a mouse run under the chair!”
Just a silly little meaningless nursery rhyme?
Maybe. But week after week people from all walks of life head to churches all over the world for worship. They do so for a variety of reasons, but deep down inside every one of them is hoping, sometimes hoping against hope, to catch a glimpse of the King. Not just any king, but the King of Kings. Of course, if you listen to what people say, many come looking for the King but end up seeing only the most mundane things. They see someone who disappoints them, or a flaw in the carpet, or a guitar where they wanted an organ, or a puddle in the parking lot. Granted, some see the King, because the King is there and He wants to be seen. Sadly many times people miss Him.
I think that old nursery rhyme may be more profound than we first think. What keeps the pussycat from catching a glimpse of the regal splendor of the royal court? There are a multitude of possible reasons, but at least two that the rhyme brings forth. First, the pussycat’s gaze was too low. After all, the Queen wasn’t likely to be running along the floor, under the chairs. So why was the pussycat focused there? Second, the pussycat was too distracted by physical appetites to experience the glory. With his thoughts on the lunch, he missed the majesty!
I wonder how many times we are like the pussycat.
Jesus said "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22). Among other things, I believe Jesus is saying the focus of our gaze determines the state of our souls. If our gaze is focused on the light, our souls will likewise be filled with light. If we focus on the darkness, on that which is broken or evil, we find our very souls filled with darkness. Often a key to seeing the Glory of the Kingdom is simply to lift up our gaze.
The Prophet Isaiah says that in the year King Uziah died, he saw the Lord. (Isaiah 6) Because he was looking for the Lord, he saw Him. After all, the Lord says if we seek Him, we will find Him … if we seek Him with all of our hearts. While others might have been tempted to panic or despair over the loss of the great King Uziah, Isaiah had the focus of his gaze on the Lord, and he saw the Glory. He also heard the angels proclaiming “Heaven and earth are full of Your Glory!” This proclamation suggests that there is no place so distant, no circumstance so dark, and no challenge so great, that the Glory of the Lord is absent. He is with us all the time and His Glory is there for those who will lift their gaze and see with Kingdom eyes.
Of course it is also easy to get distracted by a multitude of lesser appetites. Perhaps that is why Jesus goes on to say, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33). If we seek the Kingdom, we will find it. If we seek His Glory we will see it. And in finding His Kingdom and seeing His Glory, we discover that we can find resolution to the other things that bring stress and anxiety to our lives.
I believe the church today has far too many “pussycat” Christians; people who, while ostensibly seeking the King and His Kingdom, are often easily distracted by lesser things. I’m going to resolve to lift up my gaze, to look for His Glory, and to seek first His Kingdom. I don’t want to discover that my journey to the throne room of the King only resulted in me seeing a mouse run under a chair.
For more blog posts by Rev. Max Wilkins, click HERE.