I’ve ranted before about the importance of understanding the vernacular at Longhorn Steakhouse. Don’t confuse a “Cowboy” with an “Outlaw”. If you do, you’ll get a couple of dry pork chops instead of the fabulously wonderful bone-in ribeye. And you really can’t send the plate back because you ordered a Cowboy. I’m still not over it as you can see.

Our family went to Longhorn on Christmas Eve and this time I abandoned all possibilities of messing up again. I ordered the bone-in ribeye. I didn’t even look at the menu. No need to complicate matters. It was delicious, but I couldn’t finish it. The wedge salad, stuffed mushrooms and Tonion limited my capacity plus I had to save space for the molten lava handcrafted by angels chocolate brownie that would be arriving. Hey, it was Christmas Eve. We were feeling decadent.

So I brought half of the steak home. I cut off the bone to give to Toby. It’s Christmas Eve for him, too. I held it out for him and he just stared at it, looked back at me and was like, “What?” I’ve written before that I’ve had to work hard for his trust and affection, so maybe he’s not quite there yet(although it’s been 5 years). But ok. I’ll work with him. I put the bone on the ground and stepped back. More stares, no attempts to get the bone. I don’t understand. I left plenty of meat on that bone and believe me, that was my benevolent Christmas spirit heart doing that. And isn’t it in a dog’s nature, isn’t it instinctive for him to crave bones, even the cheap, fake bones at the pet store, much less a real bone with real prime beef on it?

Well, not for Toby.

Keely picks up the bone, cuts the meat off and hand feeds him pieces. He looks at her as if to say, “You are the only person to get me.”

Yes, Toby is a cat in a dog’s body. And don’t try to get him to play fetch or to play tug of war with you. Just give up the idea that he’s going to play with you at all. Not gonna happen. He will let you scratch behind his ears.

But he has achieved what many of us Christians still strive for. He’s not driven by the natural, instinctive desires of his species.

If someone slaps me, I want to slap them back. Then forward and then back again.

If someone hates me, well, hate them, too.

If someone harms my wife or kids, then let’s go Liam Neeson on them. Forgive them? Really?

But that’s what Jesus said and that’s what Jesus did. And aren’t we supposed to do what Jesus did?

That’s something to chew on.

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