By Greg Johnson
You have asked us for a pet for years. You can’t understand why we won’t get you a dog or something. As you get older, you keep asking us. Finally, we look at each other and say to you, “If we get you a pet, it’s your pet. That means you must feed it, bathe it and take it out. Whatever it takes to take care of the animal, you have to do it.”
After assuring us a hundred times you are old enough to do all that, we put the issue on hold. After a few weeks we say we really don’t want a dog or cat in the house to get hair everywhere. That disappoints you, but we do have a point. Two weeks later, you notice the rabbits in a pet shot at the mall. They look nice and the salesperson says that if you keep the bunny outdoors, you won’t have to worry about hair or smell. Perfect, you think. They can’t shoot this idea down.
Well, to make a long story short, we listen carefully to your argument and decide you are old enough to take care of the rabbit. The next Saturday, your new bunny is safe and sound in his new home. You name him Buster.
You do well the first few weeks, but after that we have to remind you every couple of days to feed and water Buster. Soon, we are doing it for you because you forget so often. One day, you come home from school and tell Mom you are just going to get a quick bite to eat before heading back to the school to play with some friends.
“Oh, no, you don’t,” Mom says. “Not today. You’ve got to clean Buster’s cage, put new food in his container, clear out all the stuff from underneath him, and clip his nails. There’s a big thunderstorm coming in and we’re supposed to be getting rain for a few days. You go outside and take care of your pet.”
Questions to Think On
• Pets are fun to have, but a pain to feed and keep clean. If you had a pet, how would do as its owner?
• Why do you think parents are so careful about getting a pet for their kids?
• If you failed to take care of your pet, how would you feel if we got rid of it?
• Mom and Dad: How can you tell if your child is ready to take care of a pet? Would you give it away if the pet wasn’t properly cared for?
What Does God Have to Say?
A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.