My middle child loves animals. For her 9th birthday this summer she wanted a bunny rabbit. She begged and begged and begged from months and months and months. I told her that I would only consider a rabbit if she did all the research to find out all the necessary things needed to care for a rabbit. If she could make me a list of all we needed and was willing to care for the rabbit on her own then I MIGHT consider a rabbit. I had a pet rabbit when I was a kid so I was open. The list never came. But ironically the rabbit did. Four of them.
Our church had a farm theme for our weekend Vacation Bible School this summer and VBS was the week of my gir’ls birthday. Hubby helped make VBS extra fun by agreeing to chase a greased pig as the finale of the weekend. Being a Northern city slicker and all, our homegrown Southern church folk were tickled at the idea of seeing the preacher in overalls trying to catch Porky. They gave him lots of advice and he did a pretty good job without getting himself or the pig hurt.
In order to enhance the evening we had some small animals for the kids to pet and play with. A deacon from our church made the petting z00/pig chase happen and about a week before VBS he shows up at my house to show my kids 4 adorable little bunnies for the petting zoo. Aww, how cute. How nice. What a great deacon, going through all this trouble for our VBS. He’s truly dedicated, taking on the burden of these sweet rabbits.
My kids loved them. They took pictures. Petted them. Played with them and giggled and laughed. When Mr. Deacon got ready to go, I thanked him for bringing the little critters by to show my kids and I started putting them in their box. He said, “Oh, those bunnies ain’t mine. Those are yours.” He got in his truck and drove off and yelled as he passed by the house, “Just put them in the garage and give them something green to eat, they will be fine.”
_______________________________________ That empty space there is to represent how speechless I was. That almost NEVER happens to me. Here’s a word of advice: Don’t ever give a LIVE present to the preacher’s kids without asking the preacher’s wife. Never mind asking the preacher. Ask his WIFE. It’s hard for the preacher’s wife to worship on Sunday when she wants to throw song books at Mr. Deacon.
So now there’s 4 bunnies and no where for them to stay. I fix up a make-shift place for them that night and spend most of the next day coming up with hutches, bottles, bedding, etc. There’s 2 boy and 2 girl bunnies so I need 2 places so I don’t have an army of bunnies in 28 days!
Fast forward 5 months. It’s December and cold outside and these little bunnies are no longer little. They need to be winterized or set free so they can burrow to stay warm. At first, when the bunnies first came, the girls could take them out and play with them; but as they got bigger it was hard to do that and the girls lost interest. So I’m thinking it’s time to let the rabbits go. “Oh no Mom! We can’t get rid of them.” But who’s helping mom take care of these much “wanted” bunnies? Right.
While we were gone to Disney World at the beginning of this month, a friend of mine helped the bunnies find a new home. They are now with their bunny friends and hopefully thriving. We arrived back from our travels last Sunday (Dec 8th). On Friday (Dec 13th) of the same week….5 days later….I’m outside cleaning up the hutches and such and all the mess created by the bunnies we’ve had for 5 months. 5 days and not ONE child has even noticed that the bunnies are missing. NOT ONE! Hmmmm……
What’s the point? Sometimes we think we have to have something and our lives just can’t be right until we do. A new lover. A new house. A new iPad. A new couch. A new job. A new pair of shoes. A new car. A new ___________. But when the new wears off we’re onto something else. When those bunnies were cute and small, they were all the rage around here. When they grew older and pooped all the time and had to be taken care of and were work, then it wasn’t so much fun any more.
Sometimes when our lives are not so cute any more but require hard work then we just lose interest in the thing….in the marriage……in the ministry……in the friendship. We don’t want to do the hard work. We just want the easy. And we aren’t satisfied with what we have. The excitement wears off and we want something else.
I’m sitting here now eating chocolate chip cookies and milk and I’m reminded of something my college friend Carole, said almost 20 years ago that has stuck with me all this time. She says, “Life is like chocolate chip cookies. They don’t all look the same, but they are made of the same ingredients. Some are crispy. Some small. Some chewy. Some chunky. But they all have eggs, flour, chocolate chips, etc. Our lives are the same way. We all have a basic need that only God can fill. It might manifest itself in different things. We think if I was only married I would be happy. Once married we say, if I only had kids I would be happy. If I had grandkids. If I had a bigger house. If I had a different job. If I lived closer to my kids. And on and on it goes. If only I had ______________ then I would be happy. But all those longings can only ultimately be filled with Jesus. Those longings are made of the same ingredients. No matter what they look like on the outside, Jesus is the only one that can fill the empty places of our lives.”
Carole is right. And my kids have proved it to be true. We will always be in search of the next thing so long as we are bored with our lives like Alice in Wonderland and run down the rabbit hole. Let’s try something different…..Let’s try gratitude. Let’s be thankful for all we have and take good care of it. Let’s take good care of our health. Let’s take good care of our relationships. Let’s take good care of our homes, our marriages and kids. Let’s do the best we can at our jobs. Let’s stay committed to our churches. Let’s practice the will of God which says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – I Thessalonians 5:18
In Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts,” she says, “While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins with the action of thanksgiving.”
Be thankful with all you have today friends. If there’s something you are wanting and not having, then in God’s timing you do not need it. Stop focusing on what you don’t have and focus on what you do. God is faithful and as you give Him thanks you will be rewarded with joy.