Most of my life, I have had pet fish. They are not typically affectionate pets. You can’t get them to fetch a ball or come when you whistle. You can’t teach them to roll over and play dead. (Although the really expensive ones are pretty good at doing it for real.) I did have one big fish named “Jack” who learned to beg for food. But you really can’t get them to do much of anything they don’t want to do. Come to think of it, fish are really about the same thing as a wet cat.
So, given all their shortcomings, why would anyone want to keep a fish as a pet? I am not sure why anyone would, but I think I know one reason why I like to, and it doesn’t sound good. For me, keeping fish for pets is a little like playing god. Or maybe it’s a little like playing what we think of as god. We buy the aquarium, rocks, plants, filters . . . add a flourecent hood and say “let there be light.” We create a nice, self contained world, then drop in the fish, sit back, and watch what happens. I think some people’s impression of God might be very similar.
Honestly, I suppose there may be a few similarities between my fish world and the real world. There is more involved than just sitting back and watching the fish. I do care for them. But what interest I have in my fish could never really compare to what God feels for us. God is so infinitely more involved in our lives than I am with my fish. No matter how much I like my fish, I would never love them enough to even consider making myself a guppy and jumping in the tank.