Puppy in the Trash Can

By Wallace H. Little

That’s right. I found a live, scared puppy in our trash can. It was about three months old, possibly younger. The can had been emptied the previous day. Someone who obviously did not want it, was trying to get rid of the animal “the easy way.” When I lowered the mouth of the can, the puppy skipped around me and ran off. I hope he found a home.

Sometimes I think we all have our “puppy in the trash can.” We have responsibilities, but do not want to fulfill them. Perhaps they are visiting the delinquent members of the congregation, going to see one who had sinned, or giving up an evening in front of the TV to teach a lost soul the gospel of Christ. Or, how about handing out Bible literature door-to-door? Or whatever. Perhaps it is not so apparent as the four-legged puppy I found, but are we not also guilty of rejecting our responsibilities sometimes? Have we not turned away when we had opportunity and ability?

The parable of the talents (Mt. 25:14-30) points out the two characteristics of responsibility: (1) ability, and (2) opportunity. Whoever put that puppy in my trash can had both, but rejected them. Thus he rejected his responsibility. What of our abilities and opportunities?

What is my “puppy in the trash can”? What is yours?

Truth Magazine XXII: 29, p. 472
July 27, 1978