Learning To Fall Like A Cat

Did you ever notice how cats always land on their feet? You can throw them up in the air, even kind of spin them as you toss the, but they always stick the landing. It’s really quite amazing. If you did the same thing to a dog, they would land smack on their belly or on their side with a big loud thump. Not that I would do any of this, I’m just saying maybe watch some YouTube videos. Cats are so good at it that they have been said to have 9 lives. In truth, they only have one life like the rest of us. But the 9 lives concept is generally thought to have come from their incredible ability to withstand falls and other accidents without being fatally wounded. Did you know that cats have been known to fall from high-rise buildings and survived? According to a study done by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 132 cats falling from between 5.5 and as high as 32 stories have a survival rate of about 90%. And at these greater heights they should reach terminal velocity. How do they survive?

Scripture: “And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” – Rev.7:14

Observation/Application:
Today’s scripture talks about those who have come through the great tribulation. These are the people who have survived the great fall. Whether we want to interpret this as the fall of man, or take a more practical look at it and apply it to our everyday lives, the lesson here applies either way. There is something about these people that is special, that allows them to survive great falls, great trials, and great tribulations. Like cats, there is something that allows them to make it through this life without mud and muck all over themselves, instead they are wearing white robes. What is it that separates them from everyone else?

Scientific studies have been done on how cats always land on their feet, and avoid injury. It comes down to 4 primary things:

1. Cats have adapted and evolved over time
– they weren’t made with feathers, like birds who fly from tree to tree
– they weren’t born with thumbs allowing them to grip branches and swing on vines
– but they did lean to claw their way up to a higher level, through hard work and perseverance – they have evolved to operate at a higher level
– and part of operating at a higher level is falling from a higher level
– when we operate at a higher level, we are going to fall much farther, and hit much harder than those who just fall from ground level
– In life, we are going to fall, we are going to fail. In life everyone falls, everyone fails – the key is learning how to do it well, so that we can survive, and thrive
– like the head and tail of a coin, success is the on the opposite side of failure
– when we flip a coin, it may land on fail, so if we want it to land on success we have to flip the coin again
– we have to get up from our fall, and flip our coin again – give it another try – don’t just lay there on the ground and say oh well, it didn’t land on my side
Lesson number 1 for us is to go out on that limb, outside of our comfort zone, and just own the fact that we are going to fall, and start falling
– the faster we start falling, the quicker we are going to get better at it
– If we are to walk in the divine nature of God’s image, living at a higher level according to his promise, we have to go out on a limb and start using our time and talents, taking risks, and getting outside of our comfort zone – for God! At church, at home, at work according to God’s Will.

2. Cats have what is called a ‘righting reflex’ that enables them to twist their bodies and land safely on their feet
– The head rotates first – based on messages from their eyes and inner ear.
– Next their spine twists and their rear quarters align.
– In the same way, we have been wonderfully made with a righting reflex, and His name is Jesus.
– First we turn our heads to Jesus, based upon messages from their eyes and ears
– If you are reading or hearing this message, then this is your message that is telling you to rotate your head, and look to Jesus.
– When we do this, our spine will twist, and the rest of our body, and the rest of our life will align.
Lesson number 2 from cats is that we need to leverage out “righting reflex”, and turn our eyes, and our heads, to Jesus.

3. Cats have much flexibility in their bones and ligaments
– The flexibility in cats allows them to survive great falls and sustain minimal injury from many accidents
– Muscles don’t get strong and flexible by sitting on the couch eating cupcakes. No, we have to work them out. We have to push them tear them down, stretch them out so that they can get built up again
– Our spiritual muscles are the same way. We need to work them out just like our physical muscles, so they can be strong and flexible
– The stronger our spiritual muscles, the stronger our faith
Lesson number 3 from cats that we can use to prepare us for life’s falls and failures is to train out spiritual muscles to be strong and flexible

The fourth thing that we can learn from cats that scientists have discovered studying the “high-rise syndrome”, which is what they call this ability of cats to fall and not get injured, is this…

4. It is their position of when they are falling, that makes all of the difference
– they are spread out, relaxed and floating
– this reduces the force of landing, they are relaxed, which actually helps them avoid injury
– what they have learned is that when we experience trauma and are very rigid and very tight, that tends to maximize our injury
– when we are relaxed and experience, that we avoid injury
– then, right before impact, the cat arches it’s back to reduce the force of impact
– God has a similar plan, and a similar position, for us
Lesson number 4 is that with our arms wide open, with or hearts and minds wide open, eyes fixed on Jesus, faith fixed in Jesus, faith like Jesus, we can be relaxed, we can worry not, fear not, having faith in the Promises of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The last thing I thought I would write about this morning was cats. But God has a wonderful Word and revelation for us each and every day that we can experience through each and every one of his creations, even cats. And whether you like them or not, cats are awesome. The way that they can fall, avoid injury, just continue to cruise along like nothing is wrong, is truly a wonder. If there is one thing that we can learn from cats, it’s how we can always land on our feet when we face life’s greatest hardships.

Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Thank you for all that you have revealed to us, and that you continue to reveal to us. Thank you for protecting me when I fell today. We thank you now for protecting us when we fall in the future. Give us the courage to go out on a limb for you Lord, and to use the gifts that you have given us for your glory. Help us live a life worthy of your name. Let us walk through life relaxed, without fear and worry, floating in your Holy Spirit. We seek you first, now and forever, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.


Image courtesy of: dakaule

Photo By dakaule

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