It is the question we hate feeling: Do I matter? Does anyone care? We spend much of our lives seeking activities and relationships that give us an affirmative answer. There is only One who can answer that to our complete satisfaction. The only One who can answer it is the One who created us.
Animals are amazingly helpful in leading us to the Answer. You don’t need to come to an A.A.R.T. session to experience the power. Use your own pets…even observe on in the wild and ask yourself some questions. Come on an AART discovery with me!
ABCS of Safety, Security & Significance
In the Garden of Eden, the choice to reject God’s one command cut humanity off from the Need Meeter. When we seek to meet the needs that God built into us…instead of seeking Him…we sin & become captive to that sin. Restoring connection to the Father begins the process of healing…and fulfillment…and loving ourselves. From childhood to senior citizen, we must find how Christ is the answer we seek and understand how to apply that answer to diverse situations. It isn’t a ‘one and done’ process. Life gives us new challenges DAILY. Living fully means knowing IN THE MOMENT, every moment, who we are in the eyes of God.
Acceptance by God restores IDENTITY for individuals. It provides strength for life in a changing world. When roles or actions give a person identity, they never learn the unique design God gave them. “Who am I” is a necessary question because the answer gives stability.
- How & when did you become a ‘pet parent?’
- Are they conscious aware of your care & provision?
- Does their awareness of your effort change your care for them?
- What does God do for you that you may not have noticed?
- How does awareness of His provision change your view of your worth?
Scriptures: Psalm 139:13-14
Belonging to God restores boundaries that provide safety and security. In the natural world, safety is an increasing concern from childhood to old age. Involvement with animals requires learning to be observant of body language and danger zones. It is easy to appreciate the value of fences, leashes and lead ropes. Let’s extend those truths to things we face daily: the internet, to strangers with candy or puppies and to individual choices.
- What ways to do you protect your pet?
- What happens when they break through those boundaries?
- What ways does God ‘limit’ His children? Where do you feel limited TODAY?
- How does He make us aware when we break through those boundaries?
Scriptures: Psalm 46:1
Calling of God restores purpose to lives. The Word tells us God has created us for good works…and for connection to Him. He treasures His children and cares for them. Using the natural needs of animals (nutrition, coat & hoof care, exercise), coaches draw parallels to caring for the body as the temple of God and caring for others.
- What needs do you meet for your pets that you tend to neglect for yourself?
- What do you expect from them?
- Are your animals meeting a need for you that they are not designed to meet?
- Christ died so we could take our needs to God: What needs do you take to God?
- Are there things you know God desires for you that you do not press toward?
- What need are you facing today that you are trying to meet on your own–or even with your animals?
Scriptures: Ephesians 2:10