As I was about to leave the house for dinner, I heard the distinct meow of my cat – from the drain outside my house.

I shone my phone’s flashlight into the drain but saw nothing. After some time of calling out my cat’s name, I finally saw the orangey-grey fur of my tortoise-shell coloured cat emerge. “How did you manage to get inside a drain and not find your way out?” I muttered under my breath.

Sliding my fingers between the grilles, I pulled with all my strength, and was glad to see the grille lift open. I called out to my cat, Mimi, to coax her out.

She disappeared into the darkness of the drainage system, and didn’t come out; I could still hear her mewing loudly. What’s wrong? Is she hurt? Is she playing some kind of game? Is she afraid? WHAT?!

In my exasperation, I went to her food bowl and gave it a few shakes, hoping to draw her out of the drain. I could now hear her mewing emanating from the drain at the front porch of my home. Great. Just great.

I walked over to the smaller drain inside my home and lifted the grill. It opened easily, and peering in, I could see Mimi’s pupils fully-dilated in the light of my phone flashlight. But my hopes of getting her out were dashed by the realisation that there was an inner grille preventing her from coming all the way to this open drain cover. Stupid cat.

At this point, my dog picked up on the cat’s mews and dashed outside. “BARRY! Go inside, NOW!” I chased him into the house. And I decided to stay there, too.

“Fine. I’ll just leave the drain grille outside open and go for dinner,” I thought to myself. I went into the toilet to wash my hands.

So as I was about to leave the house for a second time, I noticed a puddle of pee the dog had just left at the corner of my sofa in my living room. “BARRY!!! WHY DID YOU PEE ON THE SOFA AGAIN?!”

Barry looked at me nonchalantly. Come discipline me and I’ll bite you, I could tell he was thinking based on his body language. All this while, the cat continued to mew outside.

I give up, I thought to myself. On the one hand, I have a stupid cat who for some reason won’t come out from the sewer even when the grilles are wide open, and on the other, I have a defiant and rebellious dog that wouldn’t hesitate to bite the hand that feeds it.

And then I realised … okay God, I get it.

That’s what it means to master sin. We confess, repent, make right – and submit ourselves to our Master, who has given us the key to freedom from slavery.

In the chaos of my situation, the words of my mentor came to mind. “God says that you are like a bird in a cage. The door of the bird cage is already open, but you are more than happy to stay inside, and refuse to fly out.”

I guess when trapped in the bondage of sin, it’s always easier to rationalise the sin, indulge it.

But God has already provided everything we need to overcome (Galatians 5:1), and we only need choose to do what is right. As God said to Cain in Genesis 4:7, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

Rather than rebel against God and later on scramble to make deal with the consequences, a better choice to make would be to choose what is right in the first place and fly out of the cage of bad habits, old behaviours and the cycle of sin.

That’s what it means to master sin. We confess, repent, make right – and submit ourselves to our Master, who has given us the key to freedom from slavery.

I lifted my dog up and put him in a safe place at the back of my house. After cleaning up the puddle of pee, I walked out the front door for what I hoped was the final time that night. Mimi sauntered into the house and began eating her food.

It is well in my house.