Life Lessons That You Need to Learn

I had a wonderful teacher who provided me with precious and wise lessons about faith and trust. Her name was Jasmine. She died when she was 15 years old. She was abused and neglected before we met. She couldn’t communicate through language — yet she spoke volumes to me. But Jasmine was not a person. Jasmine was my cat.

Jasmine didn’t worry about the future or wallow in regrets about her past. She lived life one day at a time –- even one hour or one minute at a time. She was born with the innate, God-given blessing of being able to completely live in the moment. With no preconceptions, expectations or remorse, she was open to receiving whatever life brought her and,ultimately, to what God and her soul’s deep inner connection to Him brought her.

External circumstances didn’t dictate Jasmine’s emotions. If it was raining, she didn’t sulk, and her day wasn’t ruined. She merely found a warm place to lie down, and slept to God’s sweet rhythm of raindrops. If it was a hot day, she wasn’t grouchy –- she actually sought out a sunny spot in which to bask.

Jasmine didn’t feel pressured to conform or to do things solely to please others. She didn’t wish she was 10 pounds instead of 15. She didn’t lament having long fur instead of short hair. She wasn’t bitter about viewing the world through golden eyes instead of green ones. She was God’s creation, and, as one of His many masterpieces, she was perfect exactly the way she was.

Fear didn’t hold Jasmine captive. Oh, sure, if there was an earthquake or a sudden loud noise, she may have jumped behind the sofa. But faith, in the form of curiosity, would soon draw her out from her hiding place to explore what caused the shaking, or what caused the noise. And soon the memory of the incident was released, and she returned to living in the moment.

Status was meaningless to Jasmine. She didn’t care that I didn’t have the biggest apartment, a high-status zip code, the most expensive car, the flashiest jewelry, or world-famous friends. She was quite satisfied when I provided her with attention, affection, food and playtime.

Sweet, simple things didn’t fall by the wayside of Jasmine’s attention. She didn’t need to watch movies or TV shows filled with huge guns, explosions, nudity or zombies. Instead, she was content watching God’s show. She’d perch in the window and gaze with wide-eyed wonderment at birds flying by, a leaf lazily drifting from a tree, or branches swaying to and fro on a windswept day. She was mostly concerned with viewing the standing ovation-worthy performance presented all day and night by God.

Even though there was abuse in Jasmine’s past, which took place before I adopted her, she did not cling to those memories of cruelty for sympathy or self-pity, and she loved unconditionally. She scampered over to visitors and savored their attention. And she unfailingly loved me, even when I hadn’t showered, hadn’t done my hair or makeup, and hadn’t exactly been the world’s best housekeeper.