An odd analogy as a pet ower


#1

ok, this is going to sound a bit odd, but that’s ok. it’s an extendable metaphor lol

i keep snakes and spiders. these are animals quite unlike dogs and cats that can grow to trust you and have real affection for you. they are animals that are very instinctual, often quite defensive, and really incapable of understanding my point of view. their reaction to me is usually one of fear or apprehension. some, like the spiders, will never (in this natural world) come to trust me. they are not capable mentally of understanding anything other than food, sex, territory, and their offspring. in fact, the word “understanding” is perhaps too strong.

snakes are a bit more complicated. they can learn to think of you as a non-threat. they already know i’m not food (though misunderstandings do occasionally happen LOL), but seeing this big hulking creature that i must appear to be naturally makes them nervous and defensive…until they learn that i’m not a threat. then, i can handle them, check their health, etc. winning a snake’s trust is a massive kick, as they are not really “built” to trust us…they’re designed to hide well or glide swiftly away. gaining the trust of an animal like that is a bit like a glimpse of the new heaven and new earth, where children will play in vipers’ dens with no harm coming to them.

ok so what i’m getting at here is that these are creatures i did not create…they are largely detested (unfairly) by most people…and while they’ll never (in this life) know me and trust me and love me as i do them, i still do my best for them to ensure good, safe, well-fed lives. my reward for this is simply them being happy and healthy…oh and the occasional bout of breeding which gives me a bit of spare cash to put into feeding them.

if i, as a weak and small steward of God’s creation, can love the least of these in this way…regardless of this love being returned…how much more must our Father in Heaven love the poor blind, ignorant creatures that walk the earth and don’t know Him to trust Him or love Him? if i can intend good for my creatures, how much more must He intend good for His?


#2

I like that, corpselight! When I was a kid, maybe 7 or 8 years old, I had a friend whose mom kept all sorts of reptiles. She had a pet tarantula she’d get out and carry around. I was terrified of spiders. LOL

Sonia


#3

The trouble with this analogy is that spiders and snakes work off of instinct and a conditioned environment (think Pavlov’s dog in your training them to “trust” you). They do not have a conscience to regard you as anything but another entity that occasionally is in their presence. (I have a goldfish that when hungry, when it detects that I’m there starts to get excited. Somehow, it has been conditioned to know that whatever presence I detect to it equates to food. Yet as I dash some food into the tank, it runs off from the quick action I take in shaking the fish food container).

Humans, on the other hand, being created in the image of God, that is with a conscience and an advanced thinking mind, a perhaps a unique soul, have the capability or perception to regard the idea of a God who loves (or hates) them. That is what makes us unique from all the other species.

I will say this, however, that one of the things I am hopeful in regarding God’s mercy in our deplorable sinful state, is that we do it out of ignorance to the realities of the spiritual world. We are so associated and prone with the physical aspects of ourworld, our perceptions, and our relationships here on earth that we have to work hard to become spiritual or ‘see’ spiritual things. This is especially hard considering that we see through a glass darkly. Imagine going through life with coke bottle glasses, assuming your eyes are normal, and trying to perceive people, places, and things. You can only get a glimpse of reality. It’s not until we take off those coke bottle glasses that we can see how things really are.

I believe God considers this. We have spiritual coke bottle glasses. I find it unreasonable for a God to judge or condemn people on the basis of their immediate environment and upbringing. A Muslim in Saudi Arabia isn’t going to go to hell simply because he never had opportunity to hear the Gospel, which for the most part is banned in that country. (Not that there shouldn’t be any missionary effort into those countries, as dificult and dangerous as it is, but it would stretch credibility to believe that one is doomed because of the some failed missionary effort.) Rather, God has given every man a measure of faith and light. And it is within that faith and light that proper evaluation of a person can be judged.

Even for us Christians, with the many sects, denominations, cults, and all the other offshoots, while they may have afforded more light to us, the prism through which our senses receives the information still distorts the Truth. I don’t think we can even come to the full knowledge of the truth until we see Him as He is. All we can do is respond wity the faith and light that we have and be guided with the God given conscience He created us with and hope that we haven’t distorted the truth too much. At the very least, we should consider our capacity to love God and love others to the best of our ability with what we DO know.


#4

i agree, Dondi…it isn’t a perfect picture…but i think it isn’t wholly invalid based on what you said about the coke bottle glasses :slight_smile:
it reminds me a little of the parable of the lost sheep, or the lost coin.
yes, we are responsible, but we are also incapable of understanding God or loving Him as much as He deserves…scale it down, and you have one of my snakes tolerating me but not really understanding me.
yes, there are big differences, but i think it’s just a tiny, flawed picture of God’s care and love for us…how much greater it must be than anything i’m capable of showing to my mini zoo.


#5

From your perspective as a pet owner, viewing the creatures from God’s point of view, I can agree with your analogy. God cares for the ravens and the lilies, how much more does He care for us.

On the other hand, “Are not two sparrows are sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” But one wonders what happened to the sparrow that fell on the ground. Did God take any action other than that He knows the sparrow fell? Was it just left there to die or picked up and put back in the nest? What if we fall to the ground, will we be picked up? I should hope that we being worth more than sparrows, we ought not to fear.


#6

If the world was flat, not round, there would be a new view from every mountain. It would be boundless. I reckon there will be plenty of room for those sparrows in God’s renewed creation.


#7

I love this, thank you so much! Very informational , on many levels! Thank you… :slight_smile:


#8

i agree! and no, God clearly doesn’t pick up every sparrow. nature has its cycle of death and life…for now.

i have to admit though when i see that God restores all Creation in the end, that says to me that even the animals i’ve kept and have died will be restored…that gives me alot of hope!


#9

I like it. You love even those who mistrust, fear & sometimes attack you. Loving those who don’t reciprocate it, is divine.


#10

thank mate, you’ve summed up my thoughts exactly! and put it far more concisely than i ever could :laughing: