Are You Missing the Bobcats?

Simplify. Slow down. Breath.

That seems to be what God is telling me this holiday season. I don’t even remember the last eighteen months, when Mom became gravely ill in a drama that ended with her death a week before Christmas. Dad followed four months later. The True North of my life seemed to slip, my world tilting on its axis.

I’m trying to pace myself, cut myself some slack. If I don’t, who will? Although my family has been flawless and kind, I’m aware that I’m setting an example for them. How to love. How to let go. How to grieve. How to heal. How to exercise self-care. (I don’t think women, particularly Christian women, are very good at that last one. We need to take our forty days in the Wilderness every once in a while.)

I was wrapping presents Saturday, baking for Christmas, trying to finish a project for my literary agent. Scurrying. Stressing just a little. Then movement outside one of the enormous windows caught my eye.

I don’t know how much you know about bobcats, but they’re elusive. VERY elusive. And nocturnal. Catching a glimpse of one is rare. A privilege to those who camp for hours in the snow, suffering frostbite, cameras ready.

I looked through the glass. And I looked again. Sure enough, a large male bobcat was in the meadow. Chasing (and catching) rabbits thirty feet away. When he finished his meal, he cleaned himself like our twenty-two-year-old tabby, then walked within a foot of me. We were separated by six inches of construction.

Animals are our mountain neighbors. They come to the house, unaware of us because they don’t catch our scent. We marvel at them through triple-pane windows, thankful we didn’t cosset ourselves behind wood beams and pseudo-western architecture.

But a bobcat? I heard it during a winter storm two years ago. I saw it run through the meadow that spring. My neighbor saw it on his driveway a month ago. These were glimpses, not gazes. Sightings, which excited everyone on top of this mountain.

I stared at him. He stared at me. And I realized that sometimes all God asks me to do is stare. At His beauty. His general revelation of Himself.

Watching this bobcat for forty-five minutes was a form of meditation. I felt connected to something much grander than myself, putting all of that day’s activities in a timeless perspective.

The tasks were important. But not critical enough to miss that bobcat.

Take time, friends. You might be missing the bobcats in your world. Some experiences can become revelations that are just too remarkable to miss.

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