March of the Toys

There’s been a recent request to put several types of penguins on the endangered species list. Two of the biggest reasons for concern about these great southern waterfowl is that the effects of global warming seem to be shrinking their habitat and that massive commercial fishing efforts are cutting down on their food supply.

Implicating mankind in the extinction of species is nothing new; you can go all the way back to the wooly mammoth, for an early example, but in the Bible it cautions us about this. It says that God gave us dominion “over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth,” but it also says that we should “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth.” When I asked God how she felt about what we were doing to the penguins, and what we’ve done to other animals over the millennia, she talked about it metaphorically.

She told me that it was like giving a small child a new toy for Christmas. They’ve already got a lot of toys but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to see their faces light up when you give them something new. Though many of their toys are still good, a lot of them are broken,. Some were damaged through neglect, having been left in the rain or stepped on or a myriad other fates. Some of their favorites were broken, just from constant use. And some of the others were simply sacrificed to experimentation.

You never really want to see toys get destroyed, but it happens. You learn not to ask where that teddy bear with the eye patch has gotten to.

What do you do? You just keep telling the kids to clean up their room and put their toys away. And always, always, you hope they’ll do better next time.

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