The Issue of Worth and Value

catOur cat is quite the character. Saved from a rough street life as a tiny kitten he was brought into a loving and caring home where, one would think, he will settle into a perfect kitty existence and leave behind all the rough stuff. And while he sure settled into the treats, the comforts, stability and safety of a domestic feline career, the rough edges of his kitty personality didn’t quite vanish.

In fact, these crazies pop up every now and then leaving a scratch on my nose or a bite mark on Mary Lou’s neck where he loves to cuddle. She tells everyone that we have a psycho-cat at home. Strange cat indeed, but we love him, and as we remind ourselves often, there is a lot more good in him than bad. So, you settle into the reality you’ve been dished and you make the best of it. Rusty is part of the family.

We are going to move soon into to a new home on a mountaintop village outside of Jerusalem, and our daughter who is far more judicious (and usually right on) than us calmly suggested that we dump the crazy cat and leave him behind when we move. “It’s time for a fresh start” she wisely said, but little did she expect the fiery and emotional reply from the both of us. In fact, it felt great for us to be so unified and unanimous on anything after 33 years of blessed matrimony that we really got into it.

“Are you crazy”, we replied, “dump Rusty after all we invested in Him? The training, the cat products, the veterinarian bills and the scratch marks? He is OUR CAT, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, until something terrible happens or the Lord returns. He comes with us into the new home!” Wow, if felt great to stand our ground and win this little battle.

In fact, if felt so good and right and honest that I gave the matter some more thought and I think I found a truth treasure that may bless you regarding the issue of worth and value.

You see, there are two separate sources that define us as a worthy and valuable person; two different wells from which our soul gathers those essential waters. One, naturally, is our inherent value; the built in intrinsic characteristics, abilities and giftings that we have been born with and trained in. In a purely material and utilitarian world, a person is worth more if they possess profitable and applicable talents that define them as a high performance individual. You know who I’m talking about.

Rusty the cat, if measured by that scale, is definitely NOT a high performance cat. In fact, he is more of a high maintenance cat; a rough Israeli street feline that found a loving home and still suffers from unresolved childhood issues. We have hope for him.

So where does Rusty’s worth and value come from? Why are we risking our daughter’s (scary) disapproval to bring the psycho-cat into the new home? Good question, and the answer is found in the second source of our worth and value.

You see, we invested a lot in Rusty. A lot of love, time, grief, money and even prayer. By now we are bonded to the cat, and his worth and value for us stretch far beyond any performance or utilitarian benefits he may be able to contribute to our household. By now his is precious to our hearts in equal measure to our investment in him. And that’s the greater source of worth and value.

God invested His all in us when He gave His best to atone for our sins and redeem us from eternal death and darkness. His only begotten Son, the Father’s nearest and dearest from all eternity, was fully “invested” in our redemption story, and was “spent” in order to bring us home. There was a price for our atonement, and the price was Jesus.

And this, and only this, is the true source of our worth and value. Not what we bring in our DNA or from our family of origin or training. Those are fleeting talents that were given, not earned, and hopefully were put to good use for the benefit of our family and society. The real worth and value we posses, our true and lasting significance in this world and in the world to come are measured by what we are worth to the One True God. And He gave His best to bring us in.

Good for Rusty. I guess even our psycho-cat can teach me a lesson.

Have a blessed day,

Reuven Doron

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