The winter of 2012 was so cold that our rooster’s waddles got frostbitten. His bright, beautiful red wattles became dusky with large, shrinking patches of grey and black. “Petey” no longer pranced and crowed so we kept him in our basement to nurture him back to health — measured by the return of a healthy “cock-a-doodle-doo!” But even then we’d only took Petey out during the day to be with his girls and we brought him in during the night when temperatures dropped. With all this tender love — carrying in and out of the cold, private feedings and keeping warm — Petey got used to us — he grew to love us more and was thankful. Petey longer threatened us when we were in his chicken pen (Roosters can be very territorial).
We protected Petey this winter too. He is a much tamer, loyal, friendly rooster. Well, until my wife wore her red tennis shoes out into the pen the other day and our sweet Petey attacked my wife’s feet.
We had imagined a relationship with Petey that did not exist. Well, it seemed a harmless imagined relationship and it was a cute story. And it is not just Petey with whom we assume human quality relationships. Here you see my daughter and I with our two dogs who love us unconditionally — yeah, right!
We imagine all sorts of human qualities in our animals until something shows us that it is not true. Likewise, many Theists have a “relationship” with their god until something in their life reveals that the relationship they imagined is inaccurate. They then either change their theology (re-imagine a new relationship) or stop playing the imaginary game. The choice depends on how important it is for them to continue imagining the relationship.
Question to Readers: Tell us of an imagined relationship that you presently have — one that serves you well.