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Learning Responsibility

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For a few years now, Stephan and I have been talking about raising rabbits for meat.  Last year, he was going to get me rabbits and a hutch for my birthday.  I panicked and wouldn’t let him do it.

Why the panic?  Well, at the time, I was working at a terribly stressful job that left me mentally and emotionally drained at the end of each day.  I just didn’t see any way that I could take on a new task with such a learning curve as raising and breeding rabbits without going completely insane.

This week, Stephan found a rabbit hutch on Craig’s list for a crazy low price.  He suggested we go look at it.  Again, I panicked.

But why get freaked out this time?  I don’t work at that terrible job anymore.  I have a new job lined up for the coming school year that isn’t even quite full time.  And this summer, despite being on lists for two temp agencies, I’ve had very little work and lots of free time.  So what’s my deal?


As I was praying about it all, I realized that I’ve been trying to avoid all kinds of responsibility.  Now, I’m not shirking the duties I already have.  I’m ready to go back to work, and I do my housework and help water the garden and take care of the dogs and help Stephan cook meals.  But I’ve been trying to avoid taking on anything else.  (And, if I’m being totally honest here, there are a lot of days when I don’t even want the responsibility of having dogs.)  I want to be able to spontaneously go on a trip if we want to.  I want to have free time to spend how I please.

And yet…

Just the other day I was feeling out of sorts because I did not have anything specific with which to fill my time.  The house was clean, my chores were done, I finished my book.  I felt I needed something to do.

But I didn’t want a new responsibility.

I know, I’m full of contradictions.  But the real thing I started thinking about while I was praying was how God feels about me not wanting any responsibility.  At first, I thought it probably didn’t matter because, as I said, I’m not failing in the jobs I do have.  I just didn’t want any more.  And the things I’ve been thinking of adding (namely, rabbits) don’t really affect the outside world that much.  It’s not like it’s something community based like leading a church board or joining a town committee.

But it does affect someone.  Me.  It affects my heart.  What does it mean when I don’t want to add a new responsibility — not because I’m stressed out or don’t have the time, but simply because I don’t want to?  I think it means I’m growing selfish.  I don’t want that.

So I decided.  We’re going to find a hutch, and sooner rather than later.  And we’re going to look into buying some rabbits.  And I’m going to learn a new hobby which will affect my heart (and my dinner table.)  And maybe in some way, it will grow to affect the community as well — I don’t know.

But it’s time I learned some responsibility.


About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

One response »

  1. Brings back memories of rabbits in Vienna (Blacky and her many offspring), rabbits (imported Holland Lop-eared Dwarfs) in Upland which paid for our first down payment on a house. Elijah will love your rabbits.


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