Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Talking to Cody

How do you talk when you think the listener isn't going to respond?

We recently dog-sat for my mother and father-in-law while they went on a vacation. Their Boston Bull Terrier, Cody, is a good dog and pretty easy to have around. However, I'm more of a cat person. So, although I don't dislike dogs, I am kind of indifferent to them.

One day while he was visiting us, I started thinking about how different family members talk to Cody.

Let's start with me. The extent of my conversations are pretty well summed up in just a few sentences - "Hey, Cody. How are you?" Or, "You need to go outside, Cody?"

Then there's my daughter, an avid animal lover. She misses Cody when she hasn't seen him in a month or two. When they are together, she adores his cuteness. "Who's so cute??? Oh, who's the cutest little doggy???" She plays with him and scratches behind his ears.

However, my daughter's conversations don't even compare to how my mother-in-law talks to Cody. She talks to Cody in full sentences and he understands every word. They talk about the mailman and other visitors, his basket full of toys, the animals in the backyard, and family members. Sometimes I think she could tell him something like Mitt Romney is running against Barack Obama for President, and he would run into the guest room and come back with an elephant in his mouth.

So, while Cody was staying with us, here is what I started wondering...

How many of us fall into one of these three categories when it comes to our prayer time with God? Are we casually indifferent as we repeat the same phrases over and over? Or, maybe some of us are devoted and adoring, but sporadic. Hopefully, however, a few of us are constantly conversing in a true relationship.

I think a few factors influence our different types of conversation we have with God.

Intimacy and Relationship

Our varying levels of intimacy and relationship affect our conversations with God. Indifference expressed tends to lead to indifference expected. Expressed devotion leads to expected devotion. Let me point out that this is just our side of the equation. God is fully devoted to us whether we are to Him or not. However, a lack of intimacy on our side makes us think He's not that interested in us.

Listen & Respond

Second, the belief He will listen and respond influences how we talk to God. If we don't think He's listening or that He will respond, then we don't tend to talk to Him very much. But, when we are in a relationship with Him, we know that He is listening and we know that He will respond. In this type of circumstance, conversations with God become a benefit and blessing of a true relationship.


  1. What a great thought, today, Kathi. Excellent blog!

  2. Thank you, Sherree! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Great post, Kathi! I just spent 2 weeks with my Mum and her dog (we have a cat). I noticed the same thing you did - that my Mum has full conversations with Finn. I'm going to be leading a bible study on prayer in July, so your post was both timely and thought-provoking!

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Sue. I'll be praying for your study this summer. God bless.