Everyone in our family loves babies.
Everyone also loves cute little animals like small cuddly puppies, tortoises, ducklings
Everyone loves other larger animals even if we each do have our distinct favourites.
we had never had a family pet!
Well before Fred & I got married I had always wanted a dog but Fred grew up on a farm and so his attitude was
"a dog is a working animal!".
Then when the kids were young I was working as a Mathematics teacher and Fred's job meant he did a lot of travelling so it did not seem like a good idea to have a pet.
Yes you probably guessed it - I did not want to have to take all the responsibility for it and who would look after it during the day when we were all out at work and school!
Then we moved to live in America for 3 years and as we were moving we did talk about how it was a good thing that we had not had any pets.
So you will understand too that knowing we were only in the US for a few years we were not going to even consider having a pet there.
Not until we decided to take a day out to the State Fair - and we ended up coming home with not just one pet but 4.
Yes four Goldfish that the kids won at some event - I don't even remember what event now all these years later.
They were in a small plastic bag so on the way home we stopped off and got some fish food and then at home I let them use my large clear glass mixing bowl.
We set them on the table and just watched them swim around and around and said how cute they were and then gradually one by one we got bored watching and went on to making dinner etc.
We thought they should have a little something to eat too so sprinkled a little of their food into the bowl.
Of course when you have a pet you need a name but we needed 4 names - if there had been 5 goldfish we could have used our five names but because there were only 4 we decided to name them after the kids so the largest became Jonathan, the next largest became Daniel and the next became Linda leaving us with the smallest one whom we called Tiny - oh how imaginative we can be!!
So off to bed we went that night.
Down for breakfast in the morning and someone glanced at the bowl and we heard the cry
"one of the fish is just floating in the water"
We all looked into the bowl and true enough 3 were swimming around and 1 was just lying there - it was Tiny.
Now they definitely had all been ok the night before
as this second closer up pic shows, but overnight poor Tiny had died.
We felt very sad, we could not even look after a fish for one day!
Fred talked to the kids about how hot it had been at the fair and how the goldfish had been in that small plastic bag exposed to the sunlight for a long period of time and Tiny had been the smallest of the four so probably he had suffered the most from the heat on the water.
So we mourned the death of Tiny but at least it hadn't been Jonathan, Daniel or Linda.
Later that day we sprinkled a little food into the bowl again and every now and again we would look at the 3 goldfish swimming thinking how it must be boring to do that all the time.
Next morning at breakfast we realised that we had another death on our hands yes Goldfish Linda was now floating on top of the water.
The next day it was Daniel's turn to float and the following day it was Jonathan.
One after another our four pets had died - what kind of people were we!
All we could think of was the fact that we had not had them very long so the children had not got very "attached to them", thank goodness!
Well I want to encourage you that God is not like us.
Have you become a child of God?
Do you know that even from before you were born He has been "attached to you".
God knows you better than anyone else does.
We found out some time later that we had fed the goldfish too often.
Although we had got the right food for them we had not fed them properly.
So if you feel smothered by others,
or if you feel neglected by others,
or if you feel like you are not sure where to turn at times
or if you feel that there is just too much to read in God's Word
or if you feel there are too many different people telling you what to do
Remember God is not like us
God will feed you in the right way.
God will love you in the perfect way.
God will lead you in the way of righteousness.
I am thankful that He will not neglect us or kill us by accident as we did with the goldfish.
We are safe with God.