By Jody Bennett
The favourite thing in my day is sitting on the couch after the dinner dishes have been done and reading a book or watching television with my sausage dog curled up on my lap.
Carrie's presence is a great tonic after the stresses of the day and I find every little stretch or sigh so cute that I constantly want to reach out and cuddle her.
If you are an animal person, then you know that our pets don't have to "do stuff" for us to make us love them, we love them simply because they are part of our family.
Just their very presence and affection for us is enough to warrant all the money and effort we spend on them.
Have you ever thought that God might feel the same way about those who love Him?
In the Bible, the book of Zephaniah 3:17 says "the Lord takes great delight in you, He rejoices over you with singing" and Psalm 147:11 says "the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love".
Delight? Singing? Is that how you picture God? Or do you think of Him more as waiting with a rolled up newspaper to smack you every time you "mess the carpet" or "dig up the lawn"?
My relationship with Carrie has made me realise again that I don't have perform for God or always "get it right".
The fact that I return His love for me – even in a sometimes very inadequate and inconsistent way – and out of that love desire to do the things that please Him, is all that He requires.
That is why you might hear some people saying that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship.
A religion implies that you have do lots of rituals or jump through lots of hoops to get God's approval, but Christianity teaches that Jesus has jumped through all the hoops for us and all we have to do is accept His love and sacrifice on the cross for us, and bask in God's love.
Go on! Stop chasing your own tail trying to "be good enough", instead curl up on God's lap and hear Him singing over you and delighting in your very existence. •