This Thanksgiving season, allow me to share a thought by starting with a question. Which animal is smarter, the cat or the dog? Spoiler alert: if you keep reading, I will give you the definitive answer now agreed upon by science.
Are you ready? The answer is this. Cats are smarter at being cats and dogs are smarter at being dogs. If you didn’t see that coming, know it is the indisputable truth. Here’s another piece of information you may not find surprising. Science tells us that cats and dogs are skilled when it comes to reading their owner’s body language but dogs tend to use this information to find what to do to please us and cats tend to use this knowledge to manipulate us into pleasing them. By the way, I love my cat and wouldn’t insult him. I’m just the messenger.
This knowledge is actually important for us human beings. Scientists used to use an IQ test to see which of us humans is the smartest. But they now realize there are many different ways to be smart and being able to take a test well is just one facet of intelligence. They further realize that all the different ways we have to be smart, i.e. how to get along with others, how to use our bodies for sports, how well we remember trivia, etc. combine uniquely to make up each one of us. If we were not here there would be a true loss. We cannot be replaced by someone else.
This leads to a vital point worth remembering during Thanksgiving. Which of us is the smartest? Science now realizes that you are smarter at being you and I am smarter at being me! Neither of us can claim to be “the smartest” and indeed we only hurt each other by insisting on comparison.
Know this. You were formed by the Master Artist. He is creative and supremely gifted in his craft. The psalmist speaks to God in the Bible in Psalm 139:14 and says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
You are something to be thankful for. You are a unique combination of skills and knowledge and experience and emotion and life. You are one of the gifts of God, unique and irreplaceable. Do not start comparing yourself with someone else; that only leads to depression or arrogance. Instead simply thank God for who you are now and who he can help you to become as you grow.
And thank him for the gifts that help you to help others. Remember the dogs and cats. We are not here to manipulate other people into giving us what we want. We are here to learn to help others. That we are unique and capable of uniquely giving is truly worth thanking God for.
Rick Cupp is pastor of the Kenai Fellowship, 283-7682. Sunday Bible Classes for all ages, 10 a.m.; coffee and fellowship, 10:45 a.m.; worship, 11:15 a.m.; Wednesday meal, 6:15 p.m.; Bible classes and worship, 7 p.m.