Nothing against families with pets, but we’ve always sort of felt like animals belong outside. Houses are for people. Houses aren’t for things that can’t talk and don’t know where to go to the bathroom (unless you’re talking about babies). Our kids have asked us for pets before and you can probably guess how we responded. Something happened this past week though: someone offered us a turtle. I might be wrong, but it seems like there might have been some discussion about us having a turtle going on BEHIND MY BACK before this offer was made. Then when someone said, “Hey, we have a turtle with everything you need to have a turtle and we’d be happy to give it to you” some people (aka: Katie) thought this was God’s way of blessing us, while others (aka: me) thought that might not be what’s happening.
All this sort of transpired yesterday while I was in my office, so I called Katie and said, “Please get everyone together for a family meeting and then give me a call and I’ll come home.” Needless to say, I came home to some really excited people. We had a devotional about how sometimes people want things…but then they get it…and then they don’t want it anymore (like last week’s sermon with Balaam wanting to go with Balak’s men, the Israelites wanting meat in the wilderness, Moses wanting to take his brother Aaron with him to Pharaoh, Israel wanting a king, and you get the idea). I concluded by saying, “Please think about if you really want a turtle – not now – but years down the road.” The person who wrote me said (and I quote): “I want to make sure you know what you’re getting in to; turtles live a long time. It will probably outlast you.” The response I was hoping for from Rhea and Ricky was something like: “We won’t be like that with the turtle. We’re so excited. We’ll take care of it. We won’t tell you later that we don’t want it.” The response I got from Ricky was, “Okay.” I’m still not even sure if that’s, “Okay I want it” or “Okay I don’t want it”…sort of like when I talk to Jim, Dave or Gary. The response from Rhea was…she started crying and said, “I don’t know if I’m going to want it later. I might want to get rid of it.”
I didn’t mean to make her cry! Then I realized I must’ve made it seem like TOO big of a deal. I mean, I know if we don’t want the turtle we can just flush it down the toilet like everyone does. I’m kidding! Anyway, I learned two things: 1. We can be too serious with our kids. 2. Some kids take things way more seriously (Rhea) than others (Ricky).