The second Carl spotted the feline, he literally flipped out. We had walked on my neighbor’s porch and that is when Carl saw the cat slither past him. I am not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t had him on his leash. Thankfully, the cat was on the other side of the sliding glass door and I was able to hold onto my strong headed bully.
As if pulling hard on his collar wasn’t enough, Carl then found the need to begin to squeal with a high pitched note that could probably break glass. At this point the cat seemed to know that the dog couldn’t reach him so he began to gaze at his predator with confidence. The hair on both animals raised straight up showing signs of heightened anxiety. No one showed signs of lessening their stance. Their pride just wouldn’t let them.
The Bible has a lot to say about pride. Proverbs 16:18 states,” Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride comes in many forms and many of us don’t realize the pride that bubbles up in our hearts and eats away at the love that we should have for others. I recently heard a message about this deadly sin and saw my own pride in a manner that I never had before.
One question that was posed had to do with my identity. The person asked if I ever felt annoyed if I wasn’t recognized for my hard work. Check. Another question had to do with how I felt when others enjoyed success in the areas that I have pursued. Check. As the questions were asked, I began to realize that my humble opinion of myself was being shattered.
But why is pride such a lethal sin? God shares with us in the book of Daniel on how much He detests pride. Nebuchadnezzar was the king over Babylon. He literally ruled the world. He had built an incredible empire that he took credit for and thought way too much about his own accomplishments.
Daniel had been given a dream by God that was given to warn the king about his prideful attitude. But like most of us, Nebuchadnezzar ignored it. So instantly, this powerful king went from surveying his kingdom with pride to eating grass and living like an animal. It even states that his hair grew on his body like a beast and his nails grew long and tough.
For seven years, this powerful king lived in this insane condition alone and vulnerable. Then as quickly as he had become insane, God graciously restored his mind and position. At this point, Nebuchadnezzar praised and worshipped our Heavenly Father and gave Him the respect He deserves. For this king, he realized that God has the power to humble all men and will do so for His sake.
As for Carl and the cat, neither were going to back down any time soon. Carl continued to pull on his leash and howl with the piercing sound that could break sound barriers. On the other side of the glass, the cat proceeded to look straight at my dog with no intention of letting down. With no other option, my neighbor went inside and moved their cat into another room and out of Carl’s vision.
After a couple of seconds, the prideful bully loosened his pull and his entire body went limp. He seemed confused by the absence of the animal but was then able to focus on the others around him. In that moment, I had to smile as I thought about how Carl taught me another lesson. This one on how pride pulls us away from what really matters in life and how humility gives us the mentality to see it.