I don’t know where we would all be without our animals.  Most people own and care for quite a few pets over their lifetime.  They may be horses that people ride, or humbler animals such as the many dogs, cats, or birds with all their incredible variety of breeds.  Or some get more exotic pets such as snakes.  And it is certainly enjoyable to watch the various animals in zoos or better yet, in the wild, if you have that opportunity.  We currently have a border-collie and Australian-shepherd mixed dog, whom we have ironically named Dixie.  We named her that to remind us of the southern United States where we have our roots, but the name is ironic because we got her in New York.  We got her from the Long Island office of the North Shore Animal League which, according to their website, is the "world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization."  They had a wonderful process that was compassionate for the animals and offered the best opportunity for us to find the right dog for our family.  And now, Dixie has become like a member of our family.  We get great enjoyment out of her, and she seems to be very happy here in Kentucky with a big yard for her to run in to her heart's content.

My love for animals, though, does not stop with the family pet.  I have come to be very fond of the humblest of creatures, the birds.  I love their multitude of colors, songs, living habits, even attitudes, etc.  We have a small feeder in back of our house that is always ready with suet, seed cakes, and a seed mix that appeals to the broadest variety of birds.  I have not gone so far as to catalogue them, but I certainly would not criticize others for doing so, because I fully understand how you can become so enthused with these beautiful creatures.  The hobby of bird-watching was recently highlighted in a hit movie The Big Year, in which the characters competed with each other to see the greatest number of birds possible in a single year.  I came by my love of animals early in my life.  My family always seemed to have a dog or a cat  around when I was growing up.  For a child, having a pet is almost a necessary rite of passage, teaching them how to care for these humble creatures, and giving them a friend who will always be there. 

School events even encouraged this love of animals.  I remember going on a school field trip in junior high to watch a movie at the local theater.  The film was “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” released in 1972.  Our wise teachers decided that we would all benefit from this unusual, morality tale.  It was directed by the Italian great Franco Zeffirelli and was based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi.  In the film, Francis is a spoiled rich young man who has a religious experience that I assume was salvation.  After this encounter with God, he changed dramatically, rejecting all material wealth and learning to live his life entirely by love.  One of the objects of his love was the animals he encountered.  This is one of the things that, historically, Francis was known for, which is why he is now called as the patron saint of animals. Animals have certainly made our world a little brighter and more interesting.  They are one of the wonderful gifts that God has blessed this earth with to make life enjoyable. 

But while God wants us to enjoy these creatures, we are reminded in scripture not to make them the object of our spiritual worship.  In Romans 1, we are told that doing so would be exchanging the truth of God for a lie.  But this is exactly where some religions have taken man, to the worship of nature and the things in nature rather than worshiping the powerful, amazing God that made all these things.  Doing this is an insult to the God who deserves our worship and praise for all the wonderful gifts that He has put into nature.  Moreover, even if it was not an insult to God, it is a dead end, a futile act to worship nature.  There is no power in nature to help us, and nature has no soul that we can interact with on a spiritual level.  Only God can help us and truly interact with us in a real relationship.

I pray that you will all experience a wonderful and fulfilling relationship with our Creator through His Son Jesus, and that you will be blessed with the enjoyment of the many animals that He created for our comfort, pleasure, and help in our daily work. 
 


Comments

02/08/2017 12:19am

The gift of animals is really good that God has provided us which some of them we use for ride like horse and some for eating. I read your blog post which is the best source to understand this great topic but I learnt many new concepts to read this article. No doubt, many animals that God created for our comfort and your ideas is much appreciable. Thank you for share your best ideas about it.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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